From the moment I landed in Mombasa we were greeted by our Director and soon to be friend. I immediately felt at ease.We had flown to Kenya the day after the Garissa attack, an event which made me worried to be near. It was Phares and Benson who made me feel at home in Kenya. Overall a great country full of great people battling many challenges which may sink a weaker nation. Corruption from public officials, violence from a neighbouring country and the complete poverty of the lower class makes life difficult for the Kenyan people. A lesson I learned at Makadara (CPGH) was the ability to improvise, use the unbelievably small amount of supplies and still find a way to help the patient. This skill resonates throughout the entire country and you can physically see it in every hardworking Kenyan. Elective Africa gave me the opportunity to experience this perspective. I am very grateful for all of those in the program who took the time to make this possible. Special thanks to those that were here everyday to see us through; Phares, Benson, Raphael(our amazing cook), Esther,Steve & Patrick (our TukTuk drivers), everyone at the hospital where there are too many to name, Rama (our driver who was never late), Kadii (our swahili teacher) and all of those working behind the scenes at EA. It is not farewell from Kenya, Kwaheri Kenya, asante sana.
Elective Africa gives students an invaluable opportunity to experience a culture very different from any other. I have yearned to visit Africa all my life and having a company with the resources and skill to organize the logistics is the only way it became possible. The medical experience gives students a real challenge and I believe is a pivotal part of becoming a health professional. Here with my peers, I faced issues that made me analyze and ultimately reaffirm my career path. I believe that the differentiating factor between EA and other companies is their commitment to comfort and most of all safety. Personalized easy to work with staff ensure that the students get the experience they expected. Thank you for keeping my partner and I safe throughout this wonderful experience. I am over the moon that I finally got to live Africa.
We just finished our 5 weeks with Elective Africa. Of those, 4 weeks were in Obs & Gynae at Mt Meru, Arusha, where we were able to muck in with everything from deliveries, patient assessments and restocking supplies, to impromptu swahili lessons. The staff took their time to make sure we were not out of our depth but also stood back and guided us later on in our placement. You will see amazing things and witness the resourcefulness of a hospital with limited funding and equipment. Our time in Arusha was a really fun month, the town is easy to get around, walking or taxi and there is plenty of variety. The safari tourism trade means you are never far from some basic home comforts. Our coordinator, Phabian, and taxi driver, Richard were brilliant at answering our questions, helping us organize day trips and taking us to spots in town. The house was delightful with Neema, the house keeper, making us two cooked meals a day and looking after us. It also has good wifi and a guard at night. We finished with a 6 day trip up Kilimanjaro's Marangu route (you stay in huts rather than camping), which we organized with Elective Africa. Phabian let us change our dates once we'd arrived to fit better with our flights and arranged meeting our guide beforehand. Provided great peace of mind. Climbing was fantastic, a slightly hard way to finish up our time in Arusha but would recommend it to anyone! The scenery is beautiful and summiting the Roof of Africa makes for an amazing sunrise. All in all, we would highly recommend this company and the Arusha program. We felt so welcome, safe and had a lot of fun and feel we are going back with an experience that would have been hard pushed to get at home.
My four weeks at Mt.Meru Regional Hospital OBS&GYN Department have been an incredible learning experience.The doctors and staff have been welcoming and willing to teach.The department is extremely busy and there lots of opportunities for hands on including deliveries. Where Elective Africa really shines is with their program Coordinators.Our Coordinator in Arusha has been outstanding.He has gone above and beyond to make our experience here unforgettable.I would recommend EA to any Senior Medical Student looking to do an elective abroad.
Overall this experience was very educational, eye-opening and fun!
Elective Africa in Mombasa was a great experience. I was well prepared for the trip before leaving home and was made very comfortable once in Kenya. I got to do a lot of work in the Hospital that helped me apply my Medical training on another level. All the Doctors and staff at the Hospital were very patient and supportive. The trip was a great investment both for Medical and Cultural Education.
I have just arrived back from my trip to Tanzania where I worked at Mt. Meru Regional Hospital, in the Casualty department. Before I arrived in Tanzania I had no idea what to expect and I felt very anxious as the time grew nearer. I need not have been so anxious because my time in Africa was fantastic. The staff who organise Elective Africa were fantastic, we had drivers to take us to our placements and show us around Tanzania and our drivers and course leader made us feel like one of the family. If we needed anything they went above and beyond to help us. This included trips to work, or the orphanages we loved to visit and any trips we were interested in. The leader, Phabian, even took us to change money and would count it each time to make sure we were safe and were not going to be short changed; it was like having a big brother around. Phabian also gave us some Swahili to learn so we could communicate with our patients. We had a welcome meal and as it was two of the girls birthdays on the elective, all the staff came together and made a big effort providing us with a roof top BBQ which was amazing, we were also invited into their life's with invites to watch basketball games and go around the markets and on scenic walks. Elective Africa is an all round amazing experience. We were pleasantly surprised with the accommodation which was clean and spacious and the accommodation is guarded day and night which made us feel safe at all times. Now for the hospital. :) Mt. Meru will really, really open your eyes if you have never worked in an African hospital. The things you see in this hospital are extremely shocking and you will be emotionally challenged every hour of every day. The amazing thing about Mt. Meru though, is that once you have proved to the doctors and nurses your hard working and keen to learn, you will gain experience, insight and skills that will never leave you through your career. The doctor I worked with in Mt. Meru was amazing (Dr. Philemon) and really tested my knowledge and skills. Mt. Meru is in desperate need of medical supplies so we took stacks which were not only needed but greatly appreciated. We always took medical kits to work as the lack of supplies really shocked us. I would recommend to anyone who would like to contribute medical supplies to buy them over there too, Tanzanian shillings go a long way. I would also recommend always taking a big bag of sweets to work some of the children who visit Mt. Meru have nothing at all. We had the most amazing experience on this trip from start to finish. I will never forget the memories of my time in Tanzania and all the amazing people I met there. If I get the chance to go again I will be there in a heartbeat :) I have never cried so many tears of sadness, joy and laughter all in one go. Thank you to everyone at Elective Africa for this amazing experience.
This is a great program, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to broaden their horizons, expand their worldviews, and experience new cultures, all while contributing to the community through volunteer work. Not only will you be able to gain exposure to the medical profession, understand the specific challenges and needs of the local hospitals, and gain valuable hands-on medical experience far beyond the scope of what you would be able to do in the US, but you will be able to do these things in a truly lovely town. I stayed in Mombasa for 7 ½ weeks, and experienced beautiful sunny weather, warm sandy beaches, and very friendly people. I never had any reason to feel unsafe, despite what the media may portray; certainly there are some areas that are less safe than others, and I wouldn’t go wandering about alone at night, but there is no reason to expect that you will be in any danger so long as you exercise appropriate safety precautions. Some things I have been able to do (as a 2nd year premed): draw blood and place IVs; suture and bandage wounds; deliver babies (during one night shift I independently delivered 5 babies, including a set of surprise twins, and I’ve assisted on many more births); learn about malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, and other endemic diseases; assist on a finger amputation; ride a camel; go on Safari (I went to Shimba Hills, which is smaller than Masai Mara, but also closer by and cheaper); go snorkeling; eat DELICIOUS Swahili food; and teach science every day at the local community (i.e., slum) school (I could write a whole other testimonial about this experience! I highly recommend it!). While I can’t say your experience will be the same as mine, there are definitely plenty of opportunities to do amazing things if you put yourself out there. Elective Africa has been very helpful in organizing the whole trip. The residence is very nice and has a swimming pool, which I love. I am escorted to the hospital by van or tuk-tuk every day. The chef reliably makes us delicious meals, and you will certainly never go hungry. Everyone has been very lovely and kind. It’s a great program, and a great life experience!
My experience with Elective Africa was overwhelmingly positive.The residence that we lived in exceeded my expectations and everything from the hospital to the safari was very well organised. Our Coordinator was always available at a moment's notice to take care of any issues we may have and was always willing to take us into the city or set up any important trips that we wanted to go on. Overall,I thought that Elective Africa did a good job taking an experience that I thought would be filled with logistical issues and uncertainity and making it very smooth and easy to deal with.
My experience as a pre-dental student was amazing.In the hospital,I was able to witness a variety of procedures and have a hands-on opportunity to participate and learn new skills.The doctors were very welcoming and friendly-always willing to answer my questions.I appreciated that they would try to take me out of my comfort zone in order to get the most of the experience,but at the same time they were understanding and sensitive in the fact that everything was new to me and I had not had any previous experience. The food prepared for me was amazing-I certainly did not go hungry.The accomodations were very clearn and spacious.
I had always wanted to travel to Africa for my elective and the program in Mombasa well exceeded all of my expectations. The Elective Africa staff welcomed me with open arms and have been supportive throughout and the accommodation and meals have been excellent. As part of the program I was fortunate to visit and help out at the local schools, it was rewarding and eye opening to spend time with these underprivileged children. At the hospital I saw many illnesses that I would rarely or never see see back home and was impressed at how healthcare was delivered despite such limited resources. Another highlight was going on Safari and meeting the Masai people a must do for anyone traveling to Kenya. Overall it has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Volunteering in Mombasa at Coast Provincial General Hospital has been an incredible experience I will remember this always. I have learnt so much about myself while being here and I can't wait to graduate at the end of the year and become a Paramedic. I hope I helped people even if I was just a voice for the patients who were not receiving the care they deserved. My advice for future students-You cant change Africa but even the small things like being kind and sympathetic to patients helps and goes a long way. I have become more confident in my skills, history taking and examinations and I am really grateful for the opportunities I have been given. Coast Provincial General Hospital, you have been frustrating, exciting and painfully interesting. A huge eye opener. Thank you.
Before arriving at the Elective Africa residence we did not know what to expect, but as soon as we arrived and was greeted by staff, we felt welcome. The program was very well organised, We were given an excellent orientation of the hospital and area. Elective Africa contributed to the great experience we had in Kenya, We were able to make friends with not only the multiple international students at the residence but also with the staff. We thoroughly recommend the program in Mombasa, Kenya, the program exceeded our expectations and contributed to one of the greatest experiences we have had in our lives.
Elective Africa was a great program that helped me get to know the medical system in Africa.They were responsive to my needs both inside and outside of the hospital.Plus,the Safari was awesome!
The Elective Africa program in Arusha is a unique and wonderful opportunity for Medical Students.The hospital and Staff are great and provide instruction for students of all years .Additionally, the city of Arusha is a great area to live in and embrace the culture of Tanzania.
My title, the lyrics of a popular Tanzanian song I heard many times during my 4 weeks at Arusha, in Mt. Meru Regional Hospital says it all. Tanzania is a completely different world than the United States, Europe, or any other place I've been and working in such an environment stretches you as mentally as a student/future healthcare provider and emotionally as a human being. The interns in surgery took me in, pushed me to learn, and encouraged me to participate in procedures in the ward and the operating theatre. You see things and get to do things that would never happen in the developed world and it changes you. Experiencing that and having the support from my supervising interns made Tanzania something I'll always remember and return to do. It's nice to nice to know ya, let's do it again. For sure.
Elective Africa has surpassed my expectations completely and has given me an experience I could never have gotten in the States. The hospital was very accommodating and I was able to do rotations in all of the departments. The Doctors, Consultants, Nurses and Clinical Officers were very nice and let us watch and do procedures and teach us as well. I learned so much over a short time. The program organised for us to volunteer at a local school and go teach kids and then play sports wit them. This was definitely one of my favorite experiences wit EA because we got to explore the culture, learn about life here with challenges and success. Interacting with the children and learning from them was life changing and they stole my heart. These kids are so happy with what they have and it taught me appreciation. The residence was so well kept and safe. I never once felt unsafe. The staff is very friendly and will do and help you with anything and just love to talk with you. Dollas was an amazing cook and made us delicious dishes that were very filling. I was never disappointed in the food and she catered to special requests.The whole experience here was so fun exciting, new and completely captured my heart. Mombasa is an amazing City with wonderful people. If I could I would have extended my program longer. I thought 4weeks would be long but it went by too fast. This program is amazing and this experience has taught me so much from the Medical field but in life and culture. A piece of my heart will be left here in Kenya and I have to come back again.
Elective Africa was hands down the best experience of my life. The hospital was far more than I expected. You get to see so many various illnesses and diseases that are not prevalent in the United States. Also as a pre-medical student in the United States, there are so many things that we are not allowed to do or see and coming to Elective Africa, you can. There is so much more hands on experience than I can take back with me. The Culture is another aspect that is also very different and so incredibly welcoming. The people are amazing and genuinely nice. The food was absolutely delicious and accommodations are extremely well looked after and safe . Safari and volunteering at the Precious Vision Care Center Primary School were just icing on the cake. There is so much to do and see out here and I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in medicine. I will be doing everything in my power to stay in contact and make a return trip next summer!
Upon entering this program, I had expected to gain new experiences and meet new people. However, I could not have anticipated the amount of love and acceptance we received from the hospital staff, in addition to the exceptional assistance of the EA staff. If you're like I was and you're not 100% sure about attending medical school, this experience will be great for you. In my case, it helped me to confirm that medical school is truly the route I want to take and for that I am grateful. The doctors at Migori District Hospital are wonderful teachers and great people, who will go out of their way to make sure you are learning. You will be given amazing opportunities to observe and to help in a hands-on setting (if you are comfortable with it). This program allows you to observe things you would never see as a premed in North America. In addition to the hospital work, we had the opportunity to visit a girls secondary school and an orphanage, both of which were amazing experiences; and that is just a glimpse of what we did in our 4 weeks. The EA staff we dealt with, especially David and Daizy, were very accommodating and helpful; they catered to our every need and made sure we were constantly safe and happy. They did absolutely everything they could for us, from getting groceries and arranging taxi rides, to bringing us around to the local bars, lakes and anywhere else we wished to visit. I could not have asked for anything better. This program is well organized; the people are exceptional and I am looking forward to the next opportunity I will have to participate in an EA program. While there, we recommended our program to every student with any complaints about theirs; in fact, I would recommend this program to anyone. This experience and meeting these people will change your life. My only regret is that I didn't stay longer than 4 weeks. Thank you all again, for everything!
I have spent 4weeks in Mombasa Kenya, I am a 2nd year Student Midwife studying in the UK and decided to come on the Elective Africa as part of my University module along with a friend on maternity wing. We have had the opportunity to work on Antenatal, Labour Ward, Postnatal, Gynae wards + Theater, NBU and have even been to intensive care, we had the choice to spend time where we felt would be appropriate so decided to split our time over the different wards. All the staff couldn't have been more helpful and were eager to help with our learning experience. It is up to you how involved you get clinically but the staff will support you either way we kept an online blog of our hospital experiences which we found helpful to reflect on what had happened each day. The hospital care was very different to that provided in the UK however it is so interesting to experience another culture approach to healthcare. On top of the hospital we spent a lot of time working with children from a local school and had a fantastic time teaching their lessons, playing sports and dancing, we even got carryout swimming lessons for them each week - it is such a rewarding experience and I would love to organize fundraising events when I am back in the UK. Our Safari was AMAZING and was one of the highlights of the trip for me. The whole program was so well organized and the staff are super friendly and couldn't do enough to help make our trip a good one. I would highly recommend that you come on an Elective Africa program and see for yourself how good it is. Thank you Elective Africa!
" My experience with Elective Africa was beyond what I could ever have imagined. My nerves before arrival subsided the minute I was greeted at the airport by an EA staff. I had so much hands on experience in the rural hospital of Migori,Kenya and got an opportunity to to do things I would never have the chance to do in Australia. This is by far one of the best things I have done fro my Nursing career and would recommend this to any health professional willing to take the next step. I was always made to feel safe at home here in Kenya. David was such an amazing Coordinator and Daisy made all the nice food for me.. Its truly a life changing experience! Alex Dawe
Tanzania has been life - changing for me.The people here are so incredibly warm and welcoming.Since day one, I have been ushered in with open arms.The nurses and doctors of the labor and delivery ward have taken me under their wings and made sure was exposed to everything and given ample opportunity to practice procedures and learn the medicine behind labor and delivery. The medicine gave me independence to work on my own when they trusted the work I was doing.Apprenticeships like this does not exist.Leaving here is so incredibly sad because every thing about the Tanzanian way of life is so much more people- centered.The value of conversations and sharing experiences like eating and spending time is so much significant here and I feel like I have learnt to be a better human just after 5 short weeks .If any thing, I wish I would have come for much longer than 5 weeks. Thank you Elective Africa thank you Tanzania.
The experience I had while completing the pre-medical elective program in Migori, Kenya captured truly the best moments of my life thus far. From the moment I inquired about the Elective Africa program, I knew it would be a positive experience. The staff of EA were so helpful in providing all of the necessary information for the trip, and went above and beyond my expectations when answering my questions. As our departure date neared, I became more confident and comfortable which wouldn't have been possible without their support. Our arrival was smooth and timely. We arrived in Migori and were immediately shocked, in a good way, by our beautiful accommodations in the Migori program residence. Our orientation at the hospital was organized well, and from then on, our experience there was amazing. The doctors were so helpful. They acted as great teachers, and were patient with us. We got to see so many procedures and got more hands on experience than I would have expected. On an educational level, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Our time outside of the hospital was spent getting to know the community. The rural setting gave us the opportunity to connect and feel comfortable with the members of the community and of our surroundings. It was the same small-town feeling that I get at home in Canada; this made for an easier and more welcoming transition to the culture and lifestyle of Kenya. We got to volunteer locally and focus on community outreach-something that is very important to me. We also did fun activities on the weekends, like taking small trips to Lake Victoria and Homa Bay. Our trips were organised well, and we felt safe and secure the entire time during our stay. At the end of our program, we decided to go on the safari of the Maasai Mara. It was absolutely spectacular, definitely worth it. Finally, I would just like to add again how amazing the staff at EA were. Our program coordinators Phares and David were so great. We wouldn't have had half the experience we did if it weren't for their leadership and friendship. I will definitely do another EA program in the future; it was one of the best experiences of my life! Thank you!
My time here in Migori,Kenya with Elective Africa program has been the greatest experience of my life.I have been on the fence for quite sometime about whether or not I wanted to pursue a career in Medicine but wasn't sure where I would get the inspiration that I needed.The Doctors at Migori District Hospital were so keen on giving me the hands on experience that wouldn't have been offered as a premedical student back home. They truly pushed my limits and challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone. It was bewildering at times to stop and recognize the differences in practice as well as the similarities in a facility that isn't as advanced as those that we would see in Canada. It gave me a whole new respect for the physicians in the hospital as they do the best they can o better and preserve the lives of others with the tools they are given .It would take great patience,passion and resourcefulness to practice this way and I hope to someday carry these qualities into my own practice. David was such a great Program Coordinator.Our experience wouldn't have been near what it was without his expertise and connections.I always felt very safe,comfortable and entertained.Thanks for exposing us too to the community health aspect.
Elective Africa is a great way to do a medical elective especially for someone traveling alone as I did. What I wanted out of my elective was to build my confidence and improve my practical procedures before I started work later in the year, I would say I have achieved both these things. Coast Provincial General Hospital Casualty department was a constant stream of learning opportunities and surprising cases and this along with minor theater gave me experiences I can use in my own country and others. I would never have seen had I stayed in Europe for Elective. Living in Mombasa with the other students was such a great place to be outside of the Hospital it gave you a base to explore shops and cafe. The social side of my elective was the other part that was important to me and I have enjoyed meeting and spending time with the other participants so much. I really like that it is an international mix. I have also enjoyed all the time I have spent with the staff around Mombasa. I think working in a hospital in Africa can feel like throwing yourself in the deep end but it was a plunge I'm glad I took and I hope I'll be a better doctor for it.
My elective Africa experience was completely different from other testimonials I had read before coming to Kenya. But I wouldn't change any detail of my trip. I feel so fortunate to have been able to fully experience the good and bad of Kenya's Health Care system. I was asked by so many Doctors to return to Kenya in a few years and share my knowledge of how to improve their health care system. Over my 4 weeks at Port Reitz Hospital I had the opportunity to see many new lives come into this world, as well as experience the loss of several patients. Losing so many patients during these past 4 weeks really showed me their shortage of medical equipment and lack of patient preventative care. No matter how hard these Doctors and interns worked to spread the word to the community about taking preventative measures, it was a battle that will take many years before the benefit is seen. I am forever thankful to those throughout my four weeks that took the time to share with me their stories and teach me more about their culture. This country is by far the most inviting and friendly country I've been to and even the children have taught me a great deal about enjoying your days, greeting everyone you meet with a hello and a friendly smile and always being willing to learn from your experiences.
As a predental student from Canada I had a very fun, interesting, informative and rewarding experience with Elective Africa. I was stationed at Port Reitz Hospital in Mombasa for just over two weeks the dentists in the dental department at Port Reitz went out of their way to make it a positive and worthwhile learning experience. I was able to acquire hands on experience from the injection and extraction procedures as well as learn and witness first hand how scaling and the production of orthodontic appliances are carried out. All of the activities that were organized for us were amazing experiences such as visiting an orphanage, teaching school children how to swim, Haller Park, Night life, the beach and the safari. Overall Elective Africa was an amazing learning experience that I'll never forget.
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 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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