Have you ever been to the south coast of Kenya, Africa?
Perfect bliss and serenity!
The 3rd Annual Medical Students Association of Kenya Sub-Regional Training was held at the Baobab Beach Resort and Spa in Diani, Kwale county, Kenya from May 10 to May 13, 2019.
The Medical Students Association of Kenya(MSAKE) is a national medical student organization and has been a member of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA) since 2007. MSAKE is a non-profit, non-political organization that represents over 5000 medical students in Kenya across all nine medical.schools.in Kenya. MSAKE aims to promote health advocacy, capacity building and assist with advancement of medical students’ careers. It is in this spirit that the 2019 Sub-Regional Training under the theme of ‘Nurturing Effective Leadership Among Medical Students for Stronger Health Systems Tomorrow’ was envisioned and executed.
The event, which was attended by 153 delegates, featured 7 trainings led by IFMSA and other certified trainers namely:
Violence to Victory/Gender-Based Violence
Ipas: Maternal Health and Safe Abortions
Capacity Building for Mental Health
Training New Trainers
From Idea to Impact: Activity and Project Management
Public Health Leadership Training
Trainings had been restricted to a maximum of 20 participants to ensure effective communication and participation. This provided adequate opportunity for delegates to intimately interact in a relaxed setting with one another and their trainers. The sessions were spaced out throughout the course of the event and involved group discussions, live demonstrations and where applicable, hands-on practicals. The Idea to Impact training for instance involved the trainees going through the project management cycle using practical examples and thereafter the advocacy process involved in effecting a project.
Delegates also had the opportunity to be addressed by and interact with representatives from a number of key partners including the Kenya Medical Association, Mentor Medics, Daktari Online, GEMx and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU). Moreover, organisations such as Unified for Health Germany, Vascular and Interventional Radiology Clinic, Ladnan Hospital, ipas, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights greatly supported this event.
Key highlights included addresses by Dr. Were Onyino from Daktari Online and Dr. Mwachonda Chibanzi and Dr. Ouma Oluga from KMPDU, who talked to participants about various issues pertinent to the medic including labor and working conditions. Information about a number of opportunities and upcoming projects was also disseminated to the delegation, such as options for electives and acquiring continuous professional development points through online sessions. The launch of a partnership between MSAKE and Daktari Online was also announced at the SRT. The partnership is geared at promoting research and publications by medical students in Kenya.
Did we have time to have fun? Of course!
A number of social programs and events were hosted to make sure participants had an all-rounded experience with both knowledgeand fun aplenty! Competitions such as the Beach Survivor, a team-based obstacle course, pitted delegates from the different trainings against each other till just one team remained, while more relaxed gatherings like the Glow-In-The-Dark party provided ample opportunity for delegates to bond with each other and overall let loose and relax.
Overall, the 3rd Annual MSAKE Sub Regional Training was a resounding success. It was an ideal opportunity for medical students from all fields to come together, network, learn new skills and broaden their horizons, and it is our hope that more students take advantage of such events in the future.
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