Preparation and Medical elective info

Trip Start Aug 10, 2006
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Trip End Oct 16, 2006


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Monday, July 24, 2006

Preparation & Elective info

Jambo, habari gani? (hello, how are you?)

16 days to go.....

We leave the UK on August 10th and fly out to Nairobi, Kenya via Doha in Qatar. With over 2 weeks to go it seems impossible that visa's have arrived, vaccinations have been had, flights have been booked..... and...... bags are almost packed!!!!

I am headed to Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, NE Tanzania for my medical elective. This is an opportunity during your medical training where you can spend 6 weeks working in any hospital around the world (as long as you can get there!) surviving the heat, language & cultural barriers is another challenge!

Before the hard work starts though Mike and I are looking forward to a really amazing holiday. We will be going on safari in the Northern circuit camping out with no toilets or showers! We are then off to the Usambara mountains to stay in a convent (!) and hike hike hike...... before relaxing for a week on Zanzibar. White sand beaches, turquoise seas, palm trees... Our 3 week holiday finishes off as it starts; with a safari in the South, staying on the banks of the Rufiji river in the Selous - with Hippo's metres away!

Where I am going:
Tanzania, a developing east African nation - one of the poorest countries in the world, 36% of the population lives below the poverty line.
99% of the population are native Africans (>130 tribes)
Life expectancy is only 45 yrs (half the population are under 14 yrs)
population >15 yrs are literate
30% Christian, 35% Muslim and 35% Indigenous beliefs
Speak Swahili as native language

On Elective:
KCMC a major referral hospital (11 million people) at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Moshi in NE Tanzania - a small but typically vibrant Tanzanian market town
Medical care is sub-standard throughout the country - 1 doctor to 26'000 people
450 bed hospital, mission funded, government run
As a Christian institution, KCMC is committed to proclaim Christ through healing, teaching and research. It strives to combine professional excellence with a spirit of compassion.
Paediatrics - hospital clinics, ward rounds, rural health work and health education
HIV - 8.8% national rate (>20% rural areas) 1.6 million people (2003)
Malaria, AIDS and poverty-related diseases are among the main causes of illness and death
Infectious diseases - very high risk e.g. bacterial diarrhoea, Hep A, Typhoid fever, Malaria, Rift valley fever, amoebiasis, malnutrition and Schistosomiasis.

Prayer points:
Culture shock - heat, local traditions/ mannerisms, food etc
Protection from disease; malaria - prophylaxis, HIV - PEP, diarrhoea etc.
Church - find and settle into one (active CU on campus)
Responsibilities - dread of: 'here's your ward, these are your patients'
Working in a foreign healthcare service - unfamiliar tropical disease, no medications to treat patients with even if you know what is wrong
Learning Swahili!!!!!!!!!!!
Making friends - Tanzanian students and elective students
Confidence in medical knowledge learnt here - putting into practice
Tiredness - altitude (900m) and climate
Finances - being sufficient, not getting mugged!
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