Your Placement Destination – Migori Kenya
A walk into St. Joseph’s Mission Hospital; widely known as Ombo, and you will realize you are in the right place to gain both hands-on cultural experience and supervised clinical exposure for health degree students and extensive shadowing and observational learning for pre health students. The friendliness, the busy healthcare professionals walking along the corridors in a hurry in white coats and the ambience is a great environment for learning and understanding rural healthcare in a developing world.
St. Joseph Migori Hospital is a mission hospital in the Catholic Church providing health care for all. It is under the Catholic Diocese of Homa-Bay. It is run by the Board of Governors headed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Phillip S. Anyolo, who provide strategic leadership, resource allocation and service delivery guidance in collaboration with the hospital staff.
A Sneak Peek in St. Joseph
It is situated within Migori County, Western Kenya. The hospital started as a dispensary in 1974 at St. Joseph Catholic parish Migori. It was later constructed to what was then known as Ombo Mission Hospital and on to the now known facility. The hospital has a 200 bed capacity, an average of 20 – 30 daily patient admission and an average of 55% daily bed occupancy. Malaria and Pneumonia lead in the charts of both inpatient and outpatient visits.
Departments and Services Provided
Ombo hospital has both in-patient and out-patient services with 3 wards; maternity, general and pediatrics. The hospital also has a surgical theater with two operating tables and an accidents and emergency department. The hospital has an average of between 15 and 20 deliveries every day and therefore the obstetrics department is activity laden with unique shadowing and hands on experience, the casualty department is similarly busy department with motorcycle accidents a highlight of the daily departmental work load. Given that this region is among the regions in Kenya with the highest Malaria Incidences, the Internal medicine department (general ward) and outpatient visits give you an opportunity to learn on its prevention,diagnosis and treatment.
A Unique Experience In and Out of The Hospital
Once you join the hospital for your placement, you are part of them. You will have a wealth of experience to gain from the clinical rotations that normally happen from 8a.m to 11a.m. To the eye clinic, to the dental clinic, to their HIV/AIDS research centre, to the theatre, you have a whole lot of activities to learn from. Every Wednesday as from 7.30 a.m there is normally a Continuous Medical Training (CME) session where the staff continuously train themselves on different medical situations. This could be a very good avenue to gain more knowledge on the tropical diseases and also get to learn on the different conditions that are absent at your home country.
Outside the hospital, there are a lot of activities that you can engage in. You can volunteer at either Onyalo Primary or at Emmanuel Children’s Home; a center that welcomes orphaned and vulnerable children who have either lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS epidemic or are being cared for by ailing grandparents. You could also tour the rich unexplored sites of the western circuit; Thimlich Ohinga, Sori bay beach, go hiking in the hills, visit the Macalder mines that contains small pockets of mines among others. Other than that, you can decide to go for a safari at Maasai Mara or a climb to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
My Migori Experience
“The EA staff were so helpful in providing all 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… On an education level, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience… The rural setting gave us an opportunity to connect and feel comfortable with the members of the community and of our surroundings… 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 small trips to Lake Victoria and Homa Bay.” Emily Courage from Memorial University of Newfoundland