I had a great time with Elective Africa at Mt.Meru Hospital in Arusha,Tanzania.I worked on the OB/GYN ward for four weeks.I was able to deliver many babies,repair lacerations,participate in surgery and cesarean sections.I learned a lot bout working with limited resources.I also learned about the methods of treatment for common deseases in Tanzania-HIV,TB and Malaria.My only regreat is not not staying longer!
I did not know what to expect coming here.I was very pleasantly surprised by how helpful and knowledgeable every one was(Phabian,Vyonne and Hospital Staff). Immediately,I felt very welcome and at home.The residence was clean,had plenty of great food,electricity(most of the time),and hot water.The hospital staff was welcoming as well.They were great about telling what was going on with patients because most of communication was in swahili. I was also able to climb Mt.Kilimanjaro and go on a safari while here.Both were incredible experiences and I recommend them both.
Elective Africa provided us with an excellent placement opportunity for Midwifery students with previous experience conducting vaginal deliveries. The nurse-Midwives were supportive and we were able to have a lot of hands-on opportunity. Experiencing the culture of birth in Tanzania was eye-opening and formative, especially coming from a place where labor is feared and epidural rates are very high. I will go home with a new sense of admiration of the strength of women, more confidence with my abilities as a soon-to-be Midwife and with a better understanding of birth in East Africa context. An overall excellent experience with a great mix of clinical learning, traveling and adventure.
This program helped me get acquainted with the medical world before I even stepped into medical school; I got to do things that wouldn't be possible in America. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and I felt at home. It was very hard to say goodbye to everyone when I left, even after only weeks; I will miss everyone and EA very much!
This was a great experience and I would repeat it. I wish that I had more time to spend here. I was at Mt. Meru Hospital, Arusha Tanzania for three weeks in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit and learnt a lot from the medical staff that I worked with. The hospital conditions are a bit different from what I am used to but the staff did the best that they could with what they had.
I went to Mombasa this summer as a pre-med and don’t have enough amazing things to say about my trip! I’ve been home in the U.S. for a little over two months now and haven’t gone a day without thinking about my trip to Kenya. Working in the hospitals was great preparation for medical school, which allowed me to get a realistic perspective on what being a doctor will actually be like. During my time at Coast General hospital, I was able to scrub in on surgeries, deliver a baby, clean and bandage wounds, I learned how to suture, and so many other things that are not even imaginable for a pre-med student in a developed country. The elective Africa staff is an amazing group of people that went above and beyond for me while I was there, and words cannot describe how much love and appreciation I have for them. I may be biased, considering I love everything about Kenya and cannot wait to return one day, but living in Nyali at our volunteer residence felt like home away from home. Being greeted by Benson each day, coming home to Dollas making a homemade Kenyan dinner, playing soccer with Ijah and Franklin the security guards who are there every night, Silvanas, Phares, and Bernard. I miss them all so much, and know my trip would not have been as amazing without them there. I can’t recommend Elective Africa enough, and the Mombasa location in particular. I loved every second being there and can’t wait to go back in the future!
I have greatly enjoyed my stay in Mombasa and the entire Elective Africa staff has done an excellent job at organizing everything and taking care of transportation as well as extracurricular outings for us. The accommodations here are very comfortable and the food is great. I have especially enjoyed my time working at Coast Provincial General Hospital. I know I have gained a lot of hands-on experience working here that I may not get back in the U.S. I have been privileged to work with some great doctors, nurses, and fellow students at the hospital. I have not only learned a lot of hands-on skills applicable to my future career in the health care field, but I have also gained an appreciation for how people here overcome limitations of supply shortages and less than pristine conditions in the hospital through creativity and ingenuity. I have witnessed quite a bit of flaws in the health care system here; however, this has left me with a better understanding of public hospitals in third world countries and a greater appreciation for the facilities we have back home in the U.S. I have learned a lot during my short visit to Kenya not only medically, but also culturally. I have been privileged to meet some extraordinary people here and would like to thank the Elective Africa staff for facilitating this great experience. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone with initiative seeking hands-on experience.
Elective Africa’s program was exactly what I was looking for! I am a pre-med student from the United States and I wanted the opportunity to get a unique experience. In the United States we are rarely given the opportunity as pre-medical students to do intense hands-on work without extensive training and certifications. During my time at Coast Provincial General Hospital in Mombasa, I was not only able to get hands-on experience but my expectations were exceeded! I was given the chance to learn about diseases and procedures and assist in the treatment of patients. I also got the chance to deliver a baby and watch up close on surgeries such as a full leg amputation! Students are often given the chance to dress wounds, do sutures, inject medications, and sometimes they even get to scrub in on surgeries. The opportunities are endless! I really enjoyed the freedom I was given in the program. We were allowed to explore our areas of interest and we were also allowed to explore as many different specialties as we wanted. This was important to me because it helped me decide what specialties I might want to go into when I become a physician assistant. Many of the doctors were really friendly and would take the time to explain diseases, injuries and procedures to us if we asked. Since many of the problems encountered in Kenya are more severe than what we are used to seeing at home, it was highly beneficial to learn about the more extreme cases. Outside of the hospital, Elective Africa provides its residents with the best possible experiences they can. With activities including but not limited to shopping in Nyali and Mombasa, visiting local orphanages, going to the beaches, Haller Park, a weekend trip to Malindi and the Masai Mara safari, there was always something to keep us busy. The people I met and the things I did in Kenya made the experience absolutely unforgettable! I became very close with the people I lived with and the staff at Elective Africa. I would recommend this program to anyone in a heartbeat and I know for a fact I will be going back in the future for it has almost become a second home to me.
Elective Africa provided me a very unique experience of dentistry. The dentists at the hospital were more than happy to assist you and teach you new things. In my first week I was able to do an injection and extraction! Of course back home you would never be able to experience that until you were a dental student. The help at the house was really great too. I wouldn’t worry about the food. It is actually better than what you could find back home. Of course there is time to travel and sight see, which I did most days and had many unforgettable experiences.
I just got home from Egypt last night. I had a great time there, but still couldn't help but miss Mombasa and everyone there. Thank you so much for everything! I absolutely loved my time with Elective Africa and can't say enough great things about everyone there! I miss you all and will have to make a return trip to Kenya whenever I get the chance.
"When I first booked my trip to Africa, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew it would be different than home life and I hoped to learn a lot, but other than that… it was all up in the air. Once I arrived in Africa, my experience was different than I expected, but not necessarily in a bad way. Traveling alone, I had a pre-conceived notion that I would be a lone foreigner in a far off place. Within my first few days in Tanzania, that fear of alien isolation quickly dissipated. The other students and the coordinators made me feel more than welcome. The students at the Arusha site helped orient me to the town and we enjoyed our weekend excursions more than I could have ever imagined. The hospital experience was not what I expected, but again not with a negative connotation. The health care system itself is very different than what I was accustomed to, but it was a huge learning opportunity to experience a third-world health care system. I was fortunate enough to work with a great surgeon for my four weeks here. Yes, I learned applicable medical and surgical knowledge. Was that the highlight of my trip? No. As a medical student, you are bogged down with an endless to-do list that never seems to shorten. As you cross one task off, you always add three more things. With that sort of lifestyle, sometimes it is easy to forget the long-term goals and the underlying reasons why we do it. The hospital experience in Arusha was grounding, eye-opening, humbling and heart-felt. Not only do you see diagnoses that you won’t see in America, but you realize how much our future profession can be of service worldwide and how many people really need it. I think this experience is a great one, especially for any one planning a future in the medical field."
I came to the EA program in hopes of getting more hands-on time in an operating room. I actually got an experience that was a million times better than just OR time. We first assisted in many c-sections and got incredible teaching in the Millenium Theare from some amazing obstetricians. We split our time between OB and ER/Minor Theatre. There were many days when we were the medical staff in the minor theatre - performing minor surgeries and suturing wounds under our own direction. The autonomy was an incredible learning experience that just isn't as prevalent in the US anymore - due to all the hand-holding during training. We learned how to make the most of the resources provided and how to work in less than pristine and perfect conditions. I can say for a fact that this adventure has forever changed me and my future practice as a (future) Family Physician. Every speciality in the Coast Provincial General Hospital opened their wards to us - in hopes of teaching and sharing medical practices between the US and Kenya. We learned from everyone and were treated as equals. Everyone was encouraging and appreciative of us. Aside from medicine, Kenya was amazing. We were welcomed by Phares and the staff at the Mombasa Compound with welcome arms. It was an instant home filled with family. We took awesome trips to the Masai Mara Game Reserve and to Malinidi. We learned a ton in the hospital and then had just as much fun exploring Kenya. One of the experiences that has changed my life, was a trip to the orphanage at St. Patience's school. Bringing smiles to the little children's faces brought a feeling of personal reward that is indescribable. I hope to return to CPGH in Mombasa as a resident, and later when I'm in my own practice. THANK YOU!
I came to Africa with the intensions of participating as both a student and volunteer. The fluidity of Elective Africa’s planning and relationships with cooperating hospitals allowed me accomplish everything I could have ever asked for out of my time spent in Africa. Truly an amazing opportunity that has far surpassed any local shadow experience I’ve had in the U.S. Not only did I have the chance to observe knowledgeable physicians but I also got to engage in active contribution of those in need. Another wonder aspect of this program was learning to communicate a sense of understanding and empathy to patients with a culture and language barrier. Elective Africa has provided me with a unique opportunity for me to grow that I would strongly recommend to everyone pursuing a career in healthcare.
We had an amazing month in Mombasa, Kenya. Experiencing a new culture and acquiring a lot of knowledge along the way. Thanks to Elective Africa for a job well done! All of the staff have been very helpful and friendly and made the stay unforgettable. If you are a person with a lot of initiative we highly recommend you to attend the program!
" Living at the compound was like riding a unicorn down a street of rainbows whilst listening to the laughter of children in magical land of wonder. - spending just a short amount of time in minor theater at the hospital is an Australian medical student's version of procedure power leveling my new stat sheet is a great deal more impressive. i got experience in procedures i would have to be a 2nd year out Dr. to perform and now i can re-roll INT checks and do not provide attacks of opportunity. EA was an absolute fantastic experience. I would not have hoped for any more from my elective."
"Thank you for an experience of a lifetime, i really enjoyed my stay, and wish i had time to stay longer. In future i hope i have an opportunity to come to kenya. I will recommend the program to other students. Thank you again for everything."
"All the Elective Africa staff were so welcoming and supportive throughout the entire month. Made our stay much more enjoyable. Dollas cooked amazing food and adequate amounts so we were never hungry. Had a great time that i will never forget, have learned so much and cannot wait to tell others people about the program."
"Overall the program was a fantastic experience. I gained an immense amount of invaluable skills."
"It was very well organised and the organizers were very accommodating."
"Good program. Will recommend it to others"
"I had a good time and i learned a lot overall, so thank you for all your help"
"A fantastic experience which improved my confidence in many medical skills. Thank you all for all your help and great memories."
"I loved the whole program, logistically great. having other students here was great. Having a music school ( piano) and a pool and beach close by was great. Great food The best part of the whole thing was hanging out with Silvanos."
"Elective Africa ...it's an experience i will never forget. The medicine, the people you meet, the place, the Masai Mara, are just some of the things that would make me go back their in a heart beat. I was able to gain clinical experience that i would never have had the chance as a student in Australia. I got to perform LPs, minor procedures, see diseases that you will only ever read about in textbooks. Overall I can't wait till I get a chance to go back."
"I hope other medical students will get the same opportunity as me to improve their clinical skills and experience the adventures Kenya has to offer."
"I got everything I wanted out of an elective in Africa; plenty of experience examining patients, lots of opportunities to master practical skills and the chance to be involved in the management of complex diseases not seen in the UK. I gained an understanding of the frustrations of working in an understaffed and under-resourced environment helping me to develop my clinical intuition and appreciation of our system in the UK. The programme gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the way of the developing world in a safe and supported manner. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a challenging but inspiring elective experience."
"Elective Africa is a highly educative program for all medical students. If you have special interests in fields like Obsterics/gyn, general surgery and tropical medicine this is a very good program. The experience I had in Mombasa has been memorable and I highly recommend Elective Africa to everyone who are considering applying."
Doing a medical elective in Kenya was an eye opening experience. I got to see the third world health system and range of tropical diseases not normally prevelant in Australia. It was a really hands on experience. I got to learn and perform skills like administering injections, catheters and suturing patients. I was also able to take part in the examining, differentials, diagnosing and formulating treatment plans. The highlight for me would have to be the amazing new friends I have made and the motivation I have taken back home. I would recommend this program to anyone considering it.
Overall the experience I've had in Mombasa and with the other students has been memorable. I have made some great new friends and will hopefully be able to visit them when we all return back to the states.
Today was surgery today and was very hectic. 4 women went into labor- 3 of which needed emergency C-sections. As Port Reitz Hospital only has one operating room, the third and fourth scheduled surgeries had to be pushed back to tomorrow so they had room to do the C-sections. Scott and I went into the second surgery- a thyroidectomy (removal of a goiter on the thyroid gland) only to be called out of it about an hour and a half in to "assist with an emergency". The one baby that was born normal was a still born and they were attempting to resuscitate it. The room was very hectic with one member of the team doing chest compressions while the others were hooking up oxygen to pump into the baby. After stabilizing the equipment- the doctors and nurses returned to the maternity ward to help the other 3 women in labor while scott and I continued care on the baby that was not breathing (it did have a pulse at this point). After an hour of giving the baby breathing assistance- it finally started to breathe on its own! Two hours after the baby initially arrived on our table, it was sent back to the maternity ward where it would continue to receive care. The baby's life will be very hard as the lack of an initial heart beat and lack of oxygen will result in cerebral palsy as a best case scenario. Scott and I concluded that we think the baby also had hydrocephalitis (water in the brain) which causes the head to be very large. The baby will have a very hard life- but it is alive!
"Once again, thanks so much for all you do. I had a wonderful, enriching experience and look forward to folding what I learned into my courses."
Our first week at the hospital is completed. It has been a week I will definently remember for the rest of my life, both in good and bad ways. Just after this first week, we ve learned so much that it feels like we ve been here much longer.
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