My name is Anna, I am a medical student from Frankfurt and I am currently doing part of my final year of med school in Nairobi, Kenya at Kenyatta National Hospital.
This plan started with the idea to have a research project on multidrug-resistant bacteria and was inspired by the new partnership between the University Hospital Frankfurt and the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
After discussions over a suitable topic for the research project and further planning, I decided to also do an internship here as part for my final year and applied for the Public Health Exchange organised by unifiedforhealth.org.
The organisational process for the internship was uncomplicated and easy. Concerning accommodation and all the need-to-knows, I profited very much from the experience of fellow students from UnifiedforHealth who had just been to Nairobi themselves!
In support of the partnership between Kenyatta National Hospital University Hospital Frankfurt they have even organised a student based workshop on Antimicrobial Stewardship to complement the collaborative effort.
Right after my arrival in Nairobi and before my internship started, the next project of new partnership between Kenyatta National Hospital and the University Hospital Frankfurt kicked off!
In 2017, doctors from infectious diseases department at the University Hospital in Frankfurt and Kenyatta National Hospital started co-developing a workshop on antibiotic stewardship and Infection control. In May this year the workshop took place at Kenyatta National Hospital with doctors, nurses and lab technicians on the topic of antimicrobial resistance.
I was very happy to attend this special four-day workshop and lucky to not only learn a lot, but also meet wonderful people that are all working in different departments on reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance.
The work shop ended with a tour through the different wards of the hospital where we placed helpful stickers on hand-sanitizer bottles in the wards in order to explain how to use them. We also carried a black light and fluorescent sanitizer liquids to the wards where the staff was then able to check the efficiency of their own hand sanitizing technique!
In our free time I was lucky to have the chance for my first sightseeing in Nairobi, together with the lecturers from my home University Frankfurt we went to visit the Nairobi National Park.
Nairobi National Park sits right on the borders of the city!
After the workshop I had one more week before school started. I moved to a nice hostel and afterwards to a lovely Airbnb, where I stayed with an amazing Kenyan family! I felt very welcomed and enjoyed my stay here! My house is in walking distance to the hospital, which will be practical for the time when school starts, especially because this way I can avoid Nairobi’s traffic jams!
First time for handwashing my clothes 😀
School started! It was also the first day for all the other students to be back at school after the strike of the university lecturers that lasted for two months!!!
With the help of amazingly helpful students, I was able to find the group of students with whom I will spend my whole rotation in surgery and orthopedics together.
After several weeks of general surgery my class will rotate in orthopaedics surgery. Then 10 weeks of internal medicine and 10 weeks of all the smaller specialities.
In comparison to Germany, 6th year students in Kenya still have lectures. But there are also bed side teachings, time in the theatre or clinic and ward rounds.
One class consists of about 15 students for the duration of the rotation. In general there are about 250 students in 6th year.
I was so warmly welcomed and felt immediately comfortable with my new classmates!
Lectures and teachings are very good and I learned a lot already!
Diseases and patients are very different from what I am used to in Frankfurt. The median age of the population is 20 years …this is also reflected in the average age of our patients.
I have seen many diverse trauma cases, infectious diseases or stages of cancer that I wouldn’t have come across in Germany. For example gunshot wounds, Pott’s disease (TB of the spine) or stage 4 breast cancer in a male.