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Volume 1, Issue 1  April 2014
Transformative Placement Experience

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We are making a difference

As the year begins, it is common practice to have resolutions and a to do list to go with it. Some resolutions are followed religiously, while others are as good as the paper on which they are written. We are already in April and before we know it December will be with us and soon after, hello 2015.

At Elective Africa, we also drafted a number of resolutions, a major one being to interact more with our clients and to get to serve them better. As a team, we are excited to publish our first EA newsletter of 2014, which is one medium that we will use to keep you abreast on what is happening in the EA community. In this issue, we highlight the projects our clients are involved in while giving back to the communities around us, our new responsive website and a Q&A session with a mentor on how students should prepare themselves as they set off to intern in Africa.

Read on to find out what else we have for you in this newsletter.

Happy April to you all.

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Mid Year Greetings

Elective Africa has been enjoying a lively wonderful year so far from expanding its team, attending the 65th annual American Medical Students Association AMSA convention to meeting new faces, old faces and making lifetime friends as we go about our daily tasks organizing safe, well structured electives overseas. 

As we look forward to incorporating more products and hosting more clients in 2015, this is our opportunity to thank all our supporters in our journey.

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Surviving

 

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

·         Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

·         Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.

·          Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.

·         Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)

·         Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exciting New Month

February is the month of love, which better people to share our love than with you, Happy New Month.

This year we consider every new rising day and month exciting as we strive to achieve and bring out what is best in us. Over the last month, we have made great strides with our new programs which are Business School Treks and Camp Migori for Gap Year and Volunteers. We are glad that you never ceased to be part of our journey, Thank You, in Swahili we say ‘Asante Sana’.

In our newsletter issue this month, we talk about spending your summer productively, social media Vs your professional life, Masai Mara game reserve that is rated among the best worldwide and how best to survive medical school.

You can grab your cup of coffee, turn the music up, secure your best reading position then devour the reading moment.

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Exciting New Month

February is the month of love, which better people to share our love than with you, Happy New Month.

This year we consider every new rising day and month exciting as we strive to achieve and bring out what is best in us. Over the last month, we have made great strides with our new programs which are Business School Treks and Camp Migori for Gap Year and Volunteers. We are glad that you never ceased to be part of our journey, Thank You, in Swahili we say ‘Asante Sana’.

In our newsletter issue this month, we talk about spending your summer productively, social media Vs your professional life, Masai Mara game reserve that is rated among the best worldwide and how best to survive medical school.

You can grab your cup of coffee, turn the music up, secure your best reading position then devour the reading moment.

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Exciting New Month

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Elective Africa Website Gets Responsive

Times have changed. While a few years ago browsing a website was almost solely restricted to a desktop computer or a laptop, today many web content consumers view websites on their mobile devices. Our audience is not any different and to ensure we give you the best experience, we have redesigned our website to be responsive making it easy to view and use on your mobile devices. It is yet another statement that we, Elective Africa, care to bring you the best. Our exceptional service extends to every media with which you interact with us. We welcome your feedback on our redesigned website, so visit us today at http://www.electiveafrica.com and experience our technology. Do not hesitate to give us feedback by email at support@electiveafrica.com or social media.

                                                                                              

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Globalization and Health

Globalization is defined as the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and aspects of culture. The world is increasingly becoming a global village; healthcare is affected and the delivery of health services is influenced in numerous ways.

Any student with interest in the medical field has to definitely understand the various effects of globalization on health and healthcare delivery.

Improved telecommunication

Communication has taken a central role in the globalization phases. In healthcare the growth of communication has enabled the sharing of technologies. The various health systems can hence learn from each other on the best practices. At the click of the button one can get fine details on how to perform a medical procedure say diagnosis of cancer. Sharing information has also enabled patients to be more empowered gather information on preventing various healthcare conditions that may confront them.

Improvement of the health system

Equally related to telecommunication is the ability of governments to borrow from each other and learn from each other. With the world becoming a global village the health systems can learn from each other, benchmark and improve on the health delivery to its populations.

Spread of communicable diseases

Every healthcare professional must be well informed that as the world becomes a global village, the spread of communicable conditions is a reality. As one travels from one place to the other they are exposed to disease causing microorganisms, such as swine flu and bird flu. Global counter measures have to be developed to curb the spread of diseases with globalization and amass optimal benefits from the globalization.

Unregulated distribution of drugs

Focused medication based on approved research, proper prescription is very important for achievement of the goal of a healthy population. Globalization has led to the unregulated drugs distribution of drugs by pharmaceuticals and this in turn has led to the increased drug resistance. Drugs resistance causes lack of effectiveness in the delivery of care since patients can less respond to various treatments medications available. Globalization has also led to the increased distribution of illicit drugs which in turn affects the health and wellbeing of the population.

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Cash and Rebate Announcement

Beginning this month, we are offering $50 to our past program participants and Brand Ambassadors for any student they refer to us and ends up successfully enrolling/signing up for our program. We will also give a $50 rebate towards program fees to newly signed up students who refer other students that successfully sign up on the program. 

A successfully signed up student is one that has completed their registration process with Elective Africa and has paid $300 deposit towards their program fees.

During registration, each new participant needs to mention the name and email address of the person referring them to our program. Only one referee is entitled to the cash or rebate per participant.

No consideration will be given to referee names provided after the registration process is complete. Our finance team will be in touch with the referee and deposit the money into their account via pay pal at the end of the month.

If you have any questions on how you can become a Brand Ambassador for Elective Africa, please contact us at workforus@electiveafrica.com

We look forward to working with you!

Grace Weru General Manager Elective Africa                                    

 

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Meet Phabian, Tanzania Head of Operations

Phabian Mjarifu –Head of Operations in Arusha, Tanzania. Phabian joined EA early 2013 after working as a trainer with the Youth Entrepreneurship Program.

Today, he spends his days running operations in our second busiest location. If you have applied for placement in Tanzania, he is your go-to guy for more detailed information about living and working in Arusha. Once you arrive, he’ll be there to pick you up from the airport and show you the ropes. He’ll introduce you to your supervisor at the hospital and assist you with all payments and paperwork.

When asked to describe his town, Phabian says “Arusha is a very beautiful city with quite a cold weather, a lot of hardworking and hospitable people who welcome everyone no matter the tribe or country.”

Arusha sits at the foot of Mt. Meru in Northern Tanzania. Its prime location makes it a setting off point for safaris to national parks and game reserves in the northern part of the country.There’s more to the place than a stop on the road to somewhere else. Arusha is lively and full of surprises. The Arusha National Park is a must visit as well as a trip to the coffee plantations to roast, grind and brew your own cup of coffee.

As in any other community, the people of Arusha must contend with unique challenges. Phabian say that poverty due to high unemployment levels is a problem in the area. Poor Education is further a source of societal pressure. “Some people can afford it and others cannot.” And to others, like a few members of the Maasai tribe, other activities like acquiring and herding cattle are given priority to schooling.

Affordable healthcare is also a challenge. Elective Africa places its students in various hospitals under the health department of the Arusha Municipal Council: Mt. Meru Regional Referral Hospital, Kaloleni Hospital, Ngarenaro Hospital, and Levolosi Hospital.

According to Phabian, locals enjoy eating ugali samaki (corn meal cake) and fish, which is his favourite meal. When asked what he likes to do in his free time Phabian said, “My favourite sport is Basketball. I am a qualified Basketball coach for U18. I love coaching and playing basketball.” His favourite song: Redemption song By Bob Marley

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Surviving

Surviving Medical School

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

  • Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

  • Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.
  •  Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.
  • Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)
  • Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving Medical School

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

  •          Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

  •          Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.
  •           Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.
  •          Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)
  •          Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving Medical School

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

  • Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

  • Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.
  •  Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.
  • Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)
  • Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving Medical School

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

  •          Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

  •          Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.
  •           Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.
  •          Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)
  •          Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving Medical School

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

  •          Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

  •          Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.
  •           Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.
  •          Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)
  •          Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving Medical School

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

  •          Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

  •          Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.
  •           Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.
  •          Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)
  •          Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the stress of applying to medical school and the whirlwind of emotions once you\'ve been accepted, fears about moving out and making new friends are the icing on the cake.

“A medical degree is a full-time job on its own. You will be at medical school every day, all day, and you\'ll be working nights and weekends, too. If working and doing a degree means you have no downtime, something has got to give. Every year, someone will drop out, another fails out and another is left back. “states the British Medical online journal (BMJ).

The BMJ clearly shows the great challenges of adjusting to the medical school system. It points out the importance of realizing the sacrifices and commitment that comes with medical education like the sleepless nights, minimal or no social life, mental fatigue, costs among others.

While at the end of it all the personal and financial rewards are countless, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with trials of all sorts. One needs to think carefully and deeply about joining medical school, and if one’s desire and passion is still very strong, they should brace themselves for a bumpy ride. (The Student Doctor Network. 2014)

According to The Guardian Feb 13. 2014, You need to acquire as many tips and tricks that you can—and implement them—starting on the very first day of classes.

·         Take the workload in bit sized chunks; The first realization that needs to be made, essentially from day one, is the sheer quantity of facts that will need to be committed to memory. While you certainly had challenging classes as a premedical student, most college classes pale in comparison to the enormity and speed of material presented in preclinical courses.

The Premed Life online journal advises that; Dividing work in manageable sizes and maximize in studying them together helps greatly in memorization. It takes a lot of maturity and proper time management too.

·         Discover and maximize on your best studying trait; Learn If you study better in a group or alone, do you get more from a lecture or notes from a book, what time of the day are you more alert? You need to know what works best for you and religiously use it from the word go. At the beginning you will experiment with different styles.

·          Focus is Key; organization is top priority. Ensure you have shortened notes, flashcards, slides and the required reading material well organized. Obtaining the exams from previous years can greatly help you focus on specific areas of study.

·         Have a balanced network; socially, academically and in your personal life need to be balanced, get involved in as many activities and societies as possible and keep your interests broad. A successful doctor is one that has an understanding of the big wide world. (The Guardian, Feb 13. 2014)

·         Keep an Open mind and appreciate Opportunities; Appreciate and make the most of                   the opportunity that presents itself to learn and experience new things.

 

Throughout medical school you will meet a huge range of people. Remember it is all part of the experience and try to learn from everyone you meet. Seeing and doing as much as possible will enrich your time as a medical student.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make sure you don\'t burn out: you\'ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are but it is important to look back on your time as a student doctor with fond memories.

To help you achieve your dreams, Elective Africa will tailor make your elective abroad and ensure you are mentored, supervised and give you a feel and experience of overseas healthcare system and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Elective Abroad- In the Words of Kelly Patel.

Hello Elective Africa past, present and future participants! My name is Kelly Patel. I am a senior medical student from State University of New York Upstate College of Medicine. I have had once in a lifetime experience living and working in Mombasa, Kenya during my elective abroad with Elective Africa .

- Here is my story.

    When I was considering how to spend my final year of medical school, I knew that I wanted to travel and work in a hospital abroad. The next step was to brainstorm on which travel organizer I would use. I immediately felt comfortable and thrilled with the amount of communication with Elective Africa and the organization of my elective experience. I definately knew I was in good hands when I first arrived in Mombasa, Kenya. Meeting Phares, Benson, Benard and Raphael at the airport was great and it was good to know that they were always available for me for any communication, hospital placement questions, and the household daily activities. They were a friendly, supportive and hilarious group!

    Living in Mombasa for the past month has been a life altering experience. I’ve been immersed in the learning basic Swahili and everyone has been very hospiatble. I can’t go down the street without hearing, “Jambo!” and getting a wave. After my clinical rotations at the hospital, I have Swahili lessons a couple of times to improve my communication skills with my patients.

Other days, I walk to a nearby slum and teach science to the standard 6 students at their underserved community primary school. The kids are smart and always keep me on my toes! Getting to know their personalities and teaching them for the past few weeks has been rewarding and the best bonus experience I have had outside the hospital. Afterwards, we’ll play football and I would have trouble keeping up with their skills on the field. My favorite day was a footblall match between the boys and girls!

On other free afternoons, you’ll find me soaking up the hot equatorial sun on Nyali Beach and enjoying the warm water and sandy beaches. This is a welcome change from the frigid snowy New York winters.

Going to Masai Mara National Reserve was another highlight of my time in Kenya. Elective Africa arranged for an amazing safari adventure and I will surely dream about all of the wildlife and vegetation I saw when I return home.

Working at Coast Provincial General Hospital has been the unique experience I was looking for when I originally set out on this adventure. Working side by side with the Kenyan doctors has been enlightening and informative. Their motto is “improvise” when faced with challenges such as acute shortage of resources or not lack of funds to provide their patients with the medical care they need.

I have seen tropical diseases in real life that I had only read about in textbooks in the States. Some Kenyan patients seek medical care in advanced stages of disease and are sometimes extremely ill or unstable. Some examples of conditions I have seen include severe trauma, severe anemia, meningitis, malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B/C, advance stages of cancer, and obstetric emergencies including incomplete abortion, cord prolapse, and placenta previa.

The Kenyan doctors are willing to teach, enthusiastic about their work, and passionate about their patients. While I was rotating through the emergency department and the medical wards, I was made to feel a part of the medical team. I was seeing patients from start to finish and managing their care with the supervision of the ED physician. I improved my history taking, physical exam, assessment and plan skills while also practicing lines, blood draws, and procedures in minor theater.

This experience has been challenging but I know I will be a better physician due to my experience at Coast Provincial General Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya. I am grateful to Elective Africa, the Kenyan doctors, and Kenyan patients for allowing me to have this life changing experience.





 

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The Healthcare Providers Crisis in Kenya

Among the key problems facing the East Africa health systems is the high provider to patient ratio. Affordability and accessibility are important determinants of health service utilization in many low and middle income countries. The disparity in doctors and other health professionals distribution is more pronounced as they are concentrated in urban areas. 

According to the Health Workforce Status Report released recently in Nairobi - Kenya, the ratio of nurses per 10,000 Kenyans varies from as high as 9.7:10,000 in Nairobi (the capital) to as low as 0.1:10,000 in Mandera (north eastern Kenya). The ratio of doctors per 10,000 population ranged from as high of 9.5:10,000 in Nairobi to as low as 0.8:10,000 in Mandera. When Tanzania announced during the Kenya's 100 days of doctors strike that it would send 500 doctors to Kenya, the news were met with mixed reactions. The World Health Organization puts the Tanzanian doctor-to-patient ratio at 1 doctor for every 20,000 patients. In Kenya, it's 1 doctor for every 16,000 with a lower ratio in the rural areas, where the majority of the population resides. Universities across Tanzania have greatly increased the enrollment of medical students as the WHO recommended doctor-patient ratio is one to 300.

The national health workforce survey released in Nairobi in May 2017 confirmed the entrenched inequality in access to health services across the country. The Kenya Health Workforce Survey found that the country has a total of 5,660 practicing medical doctors and 603 dentists, nearly half of whom are based in Nairobi. There are 9.5 doctors for every 10,000 people in Nairobi, while the coastal county of Mombasa is a distant second with 2.8 doctors for every 10,000 people the rest of the counties within the country have between 1 and 2 doctors for every 10000 people. Kenya’s persistent healthcare crisis has been found to have a big professionals distribution problem that has left Nairobi with nearly half of all practicing doctors and more than 70 per cent of dentists according to a recently released Health Workforce Status Report.

The inequality is further tied to social class where for example more than 70% of the dentists in the country are serving in private practice and offering services to the middle and upper class patients leaving the system in a major strain given the national ratio of Dentists to patients 1:50000. Nairobi, the countries capital still has the highest ratio of nurses to the population at 9.7 for every 10,000 people followed by Uasin Gishu (8.5), Tharaka Nithi (7.9), Isiolo (5.2) and TaitaTaveta (5). The national ratio of clinical officers, who make the second-largest group of skilled health professionals, stands at 2.7 per 10,000 people. And the only cadre of professionals that seem popular within the rural regions and the capital is not in the top 5 counties with largest number of staff in this cadre.

 

These numbers mean that Kenya is still very far from meeting the 44.5 physicians, nurses and midwives per 10,000 people recommended by the World Health Organization and remains at a low ratio of 13.8 per 10,000. The disparities in healthcare professionals have persisted even with the increase in the number of staff that is being released from the training institutions according to the survey. The number of medical doctors graduating from local universities almost doubled from 287 in 2006 to 501 in 2015, leaving an average output of 466 a year.The number of dentists graduating every year averaged 43 during the same period. The dentist-to-population ratio is approximately 1:360,000 in Tanzania. WHO states that in industrialized countries, the dentist-to-population ration is 1:2000. 

Over the last 15 years Kenya has seen a growing influx of people from the rural areas moving to the urban cities, with Nairobi being the largest with 3.4 million inhabitants. Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru are other key cities in the country. While population data indicate that 70% the populations in Kenya live in the rural areas, the disparity shows that the preference of most of the healthcare staff to work in the urban areas. This has numerous challenges on the health system as a whole as outlined below:

Low accessibility of the healthcare system – There is heavy shortage and inequality in the rural areas with most of the doctors concentrated in the urban centres. The patients have to walk long distances to access the healthcare facilities and they also don’t have a proper balance in the staff o provide them with the care that is needed. Often due to these long queues and distances patients shy away from early treatment thus presenting cases in very late stages with heavy complications. 

Non-Functional referral system – The preference of the doctors to work in urban centers means that the facilities in the rural areas are left constrained of the service. The primary health facilities and the whole referral system as outlined across is thus hard to adhere to given the inadequate specialties at the various levels. This leads to the increased burden to the upper level facilities handling cases that could have been handled much easily in the lower levels with adequate staff.

Late presentation of the medical cases – the motivation to seek care among the population is also informed by their believe that the health system will be able to handle their needs, and be responsive to their healthcare requirements. The low level of professionals in the rural areas causes the communities to loose trust and thus result into reliance on the traditional medicine and local remedies which thus delay seeking of professional services and thus the late presentation of the cases in advanced stages.

The challenge of inadequate healthcare professionals is a global problem and to address this; training is key to adding more staff in the service. Shortages of qualified health workers and geographical imbalances in the workforce in many low-income countries require the national health sector management to closely monitor and address issues related to the distribution of health workers across various types of health facilities. Important of all for the developing countries is the development of systems that support the health care providers providing care in low resource regions and to correct the inequalities existing between the rural and urban healthcare systems.

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Giving Back to The Community


It is 0900 hrs and we are walking into some blinding sunshine. On a normal day, it would be a good opportunity to go sunbathe and sip a drink by the white sands of Nyali beach and get puzzled by the impossible blues and vibrant greens of the beauty that nature has to offer. However, Benson, Ben and I are on a ten-minute walk to Precious Vision Care Centre, a second home for a number of children that have been orphaned as a result of HIV and are now living in abject poverty.

Benson, an employee of Elective Africa, who frequently accompanies electives to volunteer and interact with the pupils, walks with a cool demeanor undeterred by the strong smell of urine that greets us as we weave our way on the path to the centre. Ben and I follow quietly, choosing our steps not daring to move an inch in any other direction for fear of the unknown. Ben takes pictures of the houses and children as we walk.


Finally, the Benson led beeline stops at Precious Vision Care Centre, an old colonial house now converted into a school. All classrooms are colorful with charts and art that children have crafted with their tiny agile hands. Here we meet Karine, Doctor Manu and other volunteers who had left earlier to set up the camp and ensure all goes well for the day. Our main agenda for the day being to examine and treat the children, thanks to donated supplies by our elective student, Karine deLima eSouza from Brazil. We had \"\"all we needed to make this a successful day.

“Most of these children are suffering and it is just because their parents are unaware and not because of ignorance,” says Karine. We all nod in affirmation and drift into deep thought mulling over Karine’s words, quietly wondering why these little innocent ones are the ones paying the price.

As the camp is being set up, I take the opportunity to take pictures. I am drawn to a little girl whose infectious smile shines through her bright innocent eyes. She is undeterred by her surroundings- we seem to have a connection. I smile back as if to reassure her that all will be well. I get interrupted by one of the staff extending her hand for a firm handshake. I get to interact with the rest of the staff. They are devoted to these kids and you can sense the love and compassion through the tone of their voices as they share emotional experiences of how the kids end up here. For instance, the deputy head teacher has the warmest smile, soft spoken and cares so much for these children. She alternates between carrying a small child waiting to be examined and running around trying to make the children orderly. At one point, she  helps button up a shirt for a small boy roughly aged 6 only to find a couple of buttons missing. In Swahili, she tells the boy to go to her office- she will mend the shirt for him. In the midst of this desolate surrounding, there is purity, calmness and genuineness that draws me to this place and seems to teach me a lesson or two about caring for the most important things in life- love, health …… and not the latest gadget my money can buy. I am back to the basics.

In fifteen minutes, the medical camp kicks off and the sound of excited children fills the small compound. They run around screaming, trying to be first in line to be examined by the doctors. On an ordinary day, this would irritate ones ears but seeing these children free like the wind, with such beautiful eyes in their brown checked uniforms and eager to learn, made my heart melt. With so little, they were content with what life had to offer. I overheard a boy, Abas, who has the potential of up staging all the late night comedians, telling stories that got most of the kids and I into feats of laughter.He cheekily made his way ahead of the queue. It probably was his reward for giving us the best medicine- laughter.

By the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but happily so, as we had given back to our community - very fulfilling. Our walk back to our residence was a silent one. Probably everyone was reflecting on how\"\"  the day was and how the children were happy. They each got a dose of vitamins to stay strong, a toothbrush, a toothpaste tube, and skin ointment for those with skin infections.

At the residence, I had a small chat with Karine who in a great way made this event successful. She talked of how she has always wanted to help poor families in Africa. Well, she got to live her dream by interning in Kenya through Elective Africa. To her, the medical camp was a life changing opportunity that she says cannot be expressed in words but needs to be experienced firsthand. She also got to interact with local doctors from her primary placement hospital, Coast Provincial General Hospital,and met people from different cultural backgrounds. “My stay with the kids was amazing and I am thankful for those who donated towards the camp and trusting me with the money. Sometimes a listening ear and a hug are all one needs,” says Karine. Talk of giving back!

Elseba Odera Communication Assistant Elective Africa                      

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Why Mara is Poetry From Nature

As I was driven towards my hotel in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, I didn\'t feel very much removed from civilization. The graceful gazelles and wildebeests grazing by all looked a bit familiar while warthogs looked their usual absurd selves. The herds of buffaloes and rhinos were as depicted in the last ‘Nat Geo Wild’ documentary I had watched.  It was what I expected of a safari. Then, all of a sudden, unheralded, a bush blocked my view of the hills and open plain. I was left with lush natural vegetation, the musical notes of birds and my own inner thoughts.                                                                 \"\"

I might have been lost in a trance only to be brought back to the world by a breathtaking resort that beckoned with its splendor by the Mara River.

Built in the 60s, the concrete-walled, timber-latticed windows, grass-thatched cottages look romantic in their simplicity. Add the trees, natural stones pavement, the quiet flowers dotting the landscape and you get the perfect Xanadu feeling. River Mara whooshes by, the birds chirps their notes, it is placid all over. It makes you feel at peace with yourself and at one with the universe; like nirvana.

Dancing Maasais greeted my entry with such adulation I felt like a King returning  to his court. Song and dance escorted me all the way to my cottage.

Now the night.

Hippos on ‘baby-sitting’ duty on the nearby River Mara blow out water with a swishing sound. Its ‘off-duty’ clan graze behind my cottage in a slow rhythm of \'creech, creech...\'. I have just taken a warm relaxing shower in my room and jumped into a king-size bed, for a moment, I am tempted to sleep on the smaller extra bed on my left. I finally snuggle on the larger one; there is a smell of lavender hanging in the room. It is 11 PM. Some hyenas might have found a feast worth laughing at, not so far in the backyard, for that is exactly what they are doing. The roar of a lion follows soon after, as if reminded who the king of the jungle is, the hyenas quit their tomfoolery. The roar is louder and nearer now, naturally, I would have been scared but my cottage has concrete walls and a strong door, besides, the many wardens in the camp looked equally fierce. I am reassured and drift off into slumber land, but before that, some thudding sound approaches. A trumpeting wail confirms it is a herd of elephants on ‘night patrol’ in the resort. It is a dark night; otherwise I would have loved to peep at the Jumbos through the window. I snore off without resolving the debate in my mind if I would ever be courageous enough to be a warden in a camp teeming with all sorts of wild animals.

Oh boy, how did the night pass so fast? I must have slept like a log, it is 6.30 AM and I have an appointment with the hippos returning from grazing. I am tempted to sleep on by the warm bed but I don\'t want to miss those shots. But, look! a zebra is grazing right on my doorstep!  Oh noo, some lucky monkey is making a dash for the trees with a loaf of bread. What drama by the banks of Mara River and it is only 6.30 in the morning.

After a sumptuous breakfast, my mind all shifted to the morning game drive.

\"\"What sets Maasai Mara apart is the diversity of its flora and fauna. Thousands of herbivores roam the open plains; zebras and gazelles play cat-and-mouse games with lions, cheetahs and leopards in plain sight while hyenas, jackals and vultures drool at a respectful distance. Buffalos, rhinos, giraffes and elephants, for their sizes alone, is a sight to behold! Hippos and crocodiles restrict themselves to the Mara River but cannot escape a visit too. (Can you spot the Big Five?)

There are unique trees in the Mara too, alongside their monkeys and birds. I cannot attempt an encyclopedia of all the wild animals and birds i saw in the Maasai Mara, but I can confidently give it a try after my safari.

Lest you forget, The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World”. It was enacted live right in front of my camera lens. It is an experience I cannot trade for anything.

Next, it should be your turn to keep up with the ‘characters’ of the BBC’s Big Cat Diary and witness too the elaborate mating rituals of the Savanna. (You never know, you can pick a lesson or two.)

The banks of Mara River and the animals who drink from it may make poets of all of us but no epic will ever replace the experience of going there yourself. Believe you me.

 

Erick Wamanji Lecturer at Daystar University School of Communication  

 

 

 

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Students and Their Mentors

As a mentor, what advice would you give to a student coming to Africa for their Electives? Africa is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and beliefs. I would urge visiting students to be cognizant of this diversity and be accommodative in the way they interact with different people. The world over, medics are bound by standards of relevant medical ethics, such as upholding patients’ information with utmost secrecy and privacy where and when indicated, medical students are in turn expected to adhere to these standards and ethics as well.

What do you mean by being accommodative? This may be unusual to visiting students, but some patients for example may feel uncomfortable being managed (should you be allowed) by visiting students. Hence students are strongly advised to follow the patient management protocols, procedures and guidelines during their placement to avoid getting frustrated.

In your opinion what should a student do to have the best elective experience? I always like to advise students to plan ahead and develop objectives they intend to achieve during their rotations and experiences.

Could you elaborate more on the objectives? Yes, the objectives could be either weekly or daily for the different stations. Since students will be rotating in different units, this helps them to clearly define an outline of their interests and goals on the program. Also, these objectives should align to their current year of study and future area of specialization.

Is there anyone who helps the students attain these objectives? Yes, mentors play a critical role here. I would urge students where possible, to discuss their objectives with their mentors. This enables a better and efficient transitioning between rotations. Many hospitals for example have a no carrying out of any procedure on a patient by a visiting student policy; however, there are instances where mentors can make special arrangements and get this done under their supervision. This largely depends on one’s level of training and understanding of that particular procedure, of which we highly advice that students observe as the procedures are being done, ask all relevant questions and once they are comfortable they could get the chance to perform simple procedures.

What else is there to gain from such programs? Students should expect to learn a lot from their mentors and take advantage of the unique settings in which we operate. They get the opportunity to learn about a wide range of diseases, procedures and conditions that may not be common in their countries of origin. For a better experience, I always urge students to read ahead of their rotations about some of the diseases and conditions they anticipate to find. This way, they can ask follow up questions and learn more during their ward and outpatient rotations. Also, besides shadowing doctors, there are continuous medical education (C.M.E) programs scheduled on different days in various stations. I strongly recommend students to attend these as they are of high importance and would help with their learning process.

You have talked about students learning about a wide range of diseases could you expound on it? Some diseases are unique to specific regions ofthe world. In Africa for example, tropical diseases such as malaria, helminthes, Tuberculosis are common unlike in Europe or America. In addition to tropical diseases, Africa also has a higher prevalence of H.I.V and its respective opportunistic infections, respiratory tract infections and other common illnesses as well as simple obstetrics and gynecological procedures and conditions.

Tell us something about the hospital environment and what students should expect? Most of the hospitals in Africa are under-equipped more so in the rural areas, so some of the tools and equipment you expect to find in use might be outdated compared to those in Western countries. It is largely about doing more with less. As a precaution I would advise that students have proper personal protective clothing and attire as these may not be readily available depending on their hospital setting. Additionally, within the hospitals, they will be interacting professionally and socially with staff and team members and if they uphold professional standards, they will have a rewarding experience.

What would be your final piece of advice? Students should not be shy to ask or even answer questions during all the above events, rotations, medical outreaches or even procedures, learning is an interactive process and students need to play an active role in this.


Dr. Osbourne Ndalo a Clinical officer at the Coast Provincial General Hospital

 

 

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