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Volume 3, Issue 2  February 2016
Invest in Memories.

Where there is love of medicine there is love for humanity!

We consider every new rising day and month exciting as we strive to provide you an exciting educational and expedition travel programs. Welcome to our second newsletter of the year.

In our newsletter issue this month, we talk about various ways you can spend your spring and summer break by either travelling, volunteering or taking your medical elective abroad. We\'re challenging you to invest in making memories by doing something intriguing like visiting the sandy beaches of Mombasa, Kenya or challenge yourself to an adrenaline charged Kilimanjaro climb in Arusha, Tanzania.

We feature the second largest public hospital in Kenya, Coast General Provincial Hospital in our second article. This is an ideal hospital for your elective or a prehealth shadowing placement.

Our rural healthcare article will provide you insight into the disparities of the rural healthcare sytem in comparison to an urban setting. It will broaden you options as you seek locations for your prehealth shadowing or medical elective.

We take a journey with you as you join medical school and advise you on juggling the hustles of being a medical student in our final article.

Take advantage of our group discount and sign up as a group of three or more to enjoy 14% off your reservation fee.

We are glad that you have been part of our journey, Thank You, in Swahili, ‘Asante Sana’.


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Making the Best of your Spring and Summer Break

Have you considered what you going to do during this year\'s spring and summer break? Have you been thinking of an adventurous trip abroad? Do you want to make a difference as you enjoy your break? Take a leap; decide to seek out a life-changing unique experiential trip abroad.

Elective Africa\'s programs enable you to immerse in a new culture, learning the value of personal responsibility and commitment. Through diverse ways, an individual’s or group’s needs are met beyond expectation to ensure you take back memories of some of the most amazing places and people you’ve ever meet.

Below are some ideas to make the most out of your spring or summer break either locally or abroad.

Travel Abroad

Whether you seeking practical medical experience or an opportunity to shadow doctors, consider a trip to Kenya or Tanzania. A medical elective abroad will provide you with a rare hands-on experience in a different healthcare system. Prehealth shadowing abroad would be ideal to add on to your college credit as you consider applying to medical school and make your application stand out.

Travelling abroad is also an opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture, make new friends and take Safari or challenge yourself to a Kilimanjaro climb in Arusha Tanzania.

Volunteer Abroad

There is no feeling as satisfying as devoting your time and skills to helping an individual or community in any small way possible.

If you are currently on your gap year break, come and offer your time, energy through meaningful community service projects with instruction and reflection to enrich your learning experience. Volunteering activities include mentoring young children in school, coaching or being part of a school sports team, teaching, refurbishing classrooms, environmental conservation and child care programs.

Seeking more information on how to partake in these noble cause and enjoy your gap year, spring and summer break visit our website at Camp Migori.

At the end of your break, you will rediscover yourself, perfect on your language skills and get time to reflect on your personal goals.


According to the Premed life online journal, this is one of the most popular choices for students to spend their spring or summer break for pre meds students seeking to have fun and still build their resume. A camp offers you skill-building, leadership, training, and enrichment opportunities.

Camp experience also allows you to learn and develop skills that enhance your marketability to colleges and future employers. You can also make some extra money from camps job that can boost your college funds and savings greatly.

Take a Job/Internship 

Paid and unpaid internship offers you a chance to gain a valuable hands-on experience and this will enable you to gain confidence in yourself. Contacting the HR officers in the field that you are interested in will open your eyes to the skill-set required for your career.

Working through the summer or spring break is not only a good opportunity to save for college but also impress an admission board. As you aspire to join medical school, it is important to take up a job or internship locally or abroad.

Partaking and actualizing the above ideas is as easy as it sounds, just let Elective Africa be part of your journey.

Nothing would please us more than having you on program with us.

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Coast General Provincial Hospital

Coast General Provincial Hospital (CPGH) is the second largest public hospital in Kenya after Kenyatta National Hospital with a bed capacity of approximately above 700. It is a teaching and level 5 referral hospital whose service area comprises the 7 districts in the Coast Province of Kenya.

This is our major placement hospital at the Mombasa destination that provides the best elective environment and experience.

The main departments at the hospital for our pre-health, healthcare students and professionals to rotate in while on program include: Casualty/ Emergency, Radiology, Dental, Internal Medicine, ENT, OBS/ GYN, Pediatrics and Surgical. No one facilitates this better than we do.


This is the busiest department and handles approximately 100 patients daily with only 6 doctors. It provides our clients with hands-on experience that no one can surpass. It also provides an opportunity for disease prognosis as they are able to see as many incoming patients as possible.

Surgery department

With only 4 doctors while handling an average of 12 patients daily, the surgery department provides a rare opportunity to participate in and witness various types of both minor and major surgeries. The recent heart surgeries performed at the hospital in conjunction with Kenyatta National Hospital are a clear indication of the diversified kind of major surgeries you will be exposed to.

OBS/ GYN department

This department handles an approximate of 100 women daily with 25 deliveries per day with only 8 doctors. With all these patients coming for pre and post-natal care services, child-birth services, maternal education and clinic, there is clear evidence of limited man-power but enough experience.

Students and professionals get to handle various conditions such as complications during delivery, hence widening their scope of knowledge and experience.

Internal Medicine

To be able to expound tropical and infectious diseases knowledge, the internal medicine department that handles 150 patients daily with only 6 doctors will provide first-hand experience. You will know what the diseases entail, how to treat them and go beyond your normal routine and conduct research on their spread and management.

Outside the hospital, our participants are able to volunteer at orphanages, schools and within the community through participating in activities like vaccination and dental outreaches.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Mombasa town in Kenya is referred to as ‘Mombasa Raha’. Raha is the Swahili definition of Fun. 

There are an array of activities to be undertaken in the town, starting from a tour of the Old Town, beach visits, snorkeling, Watamu town exploration and culture immersion.

All factors considered, there is no other better place for your elective.

Coastal Elective! Perfect Experience!

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Rural Healthcare Program

Some students prefer an urban setting for their healthcare placements abroad while others are keen on a laid back rural experience. Elective Africa’s Migori rural setting in Kenya is ideal to acquire hands-on clinical experience, either as an elective or as a pre-health shadowing experience with professional supervision. This is a great opportunity to learn new things, practice the skills and theory taught in the classrooms, compare urban and rural healthcare systems while gaining an understanding of less-resourced healthcare systems.

Migori Town has a population of approximately 917,170 according to the 2009 national census.  It is characterized by natural beauty, such as Lake Victoria - the largest fresh water lake in Africa, vast agricultural plantations, a mosaic of landscapes and historical and cultural aspect beholds it. This will be a great destination during your spring, summer or gap year break for a healthcare placement, volunteer and/or an adventure trip.

A world Health Organization (WHO) report in 2012 states that approximately 78 percent of Kenyans live in rural areas and yet a disproportionate share of healthcare facilities are located in the urban areas. This is can be seen in the case of Migori County, served by one main county Hospital, Migori County Referral Hospital and supported by sub-county health facilities, private and mission hospitals. A report compiled by the Institute of Economic Affairs, 2011, indicated that the ratio of doctors to the population is 1: 52,280.

Some of the unique medical cases one will experience in Migori is the treatment of infectious and communicable diseases. Cholera outbreak is common due to poor hygiene and sanitization caused by inaccessibility to clean water. Tropical disease like malaria are common, caused by stagnant water bodies and therefore increased infections. The National Aids Control Council in its county profile report ranked Migori 4th out of the 47 counties in Kenya with the highest HIV/AIDS infection with 8,283 new infections by end of 2014.

Healthcare placement in the obstetrics/ gynecology (OBS/GYN) department will be one of the most engaging for medical student interested in reproductive health. You will handle complicated and late stage prognosis cases, assisting in deliveries, family planning and continued maternal health in pre-natal and post-natal care.

A rural healthcare placement in Migori will be a rewarding experience for a student seeking experience in general medicine, OBS/GYN and primary healthcare experience. Patients in the rural areas present themselves with conditions far advanced than what you see back home. This is due to lack of access to health facilities early enough or preference to other medical solutions likes traditional doctors. You will see conditions that are rarely seen back home, some that you have only read in books

In some cases, you will find yourself returning to basics including diagnosing and treating conditions without the benefits of laboratory services or medical equipment you have back home. Yet in others you may find that the approach to managing and treating familiar illnesses may well differ from what you’ve been taught at home thus challenging some of the ideas you may have previously held. The benefit of our rural healthcare program is that you develop new skills while also increasing your understanding of diseases progression.

The county government is striving to expand health facilities, provide better primary healthcare services and increase medical and social awareness. Recently Migori District Hospital was upgraded to Migori County Referral Hospital. Among other expansions the country government is putting up a children’s ward to provide special facilities for treating children to reduce child mortality and create room for referral cases.

In addition to healthcare placements, other opportunities include public health outreach, working as a community health social worker. Activities you will undertake as a community health social worker include; creating awareness on proper sanitation and hygiene to reduce malaria and cholera outbreak, providing education on prenatal care during pregnancy, testing and treatment for HIV and safe delivery by a skilled attendant, medical clinics and child immunization and door-to-door jigger eradication campaign.

\'\'Come Make a Difference, Learn and Have Fun!\'\'

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Surviving Medical School

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 out of the opportunities that come 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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