Medical Student – University of Nairobi, Kenya
FACES Rongo, October – December 2010
My name is Ruth Mbadi; I am a final year medical student at The University of Nairobi. I did my elective term at Rongo District Hospital. Rongo is my rural home and it is a beautiful coincidence that I ended up there for my electives.
Rongo is a small town, recently made district, in Nyanza province. It’s quite a busy town since its in the middle of 3 major towns, Homabay, Migori and Kisii. I knew the now Rongo District Hospital (RDH) as Rongo Health Centre, that was in my early days there. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by the transformation it had undergone from a health centre to a district hospital.
My experience as a STEP student there was very rewarding both intellectually and socially. I rotated in all the departments i. e. Reception, Clinical room, Laboratory, Pharmacy, MCH/FP/PMTCT (maternal and child health, family planning, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV), TB clinic and VMMC (voluntary male medical circumcision).
I loved working in the clinical room especially on Mondays which was the day most paediatric cases were seen; there was always so much to learn. I saw so many conditions most of which I had only read of in books! It was a great learning experience especially when I saw the discussions that were carried out in CMEs and clinicians’ multidisciplinary meetings being applied in real life cases.
Another favourite of mine was the MCH/FP/PMTCT clinic. It was humbling to see tears of joy in mothers’ faces when their children were declared HIV negative after 18 months of PMTCT intervention. The FP clinic also gave me insights into the women’s preferred methods of family planning and the reasons behind that. It was also a nice opportunity to hear and correct misconceptions the women had concerning family planning.
The laboratory and pharmacy were also educative. I got to learn of the available ARV combinations and dispensing technique for both adults and children. I also worked at the VMMC. It was nice especially since there was a rapid results initiative going on. I managed to take part in a number of surgeries.
I also visited almost all the peripheral sites. The work being done in those places is commendable. It enables care to reach even the most remote places!
The social aspect of my elective term was just as great. I looked forward to Friday meetings which were very interactive and enjoyable.
I could go on and on. I had a great experience and am so thankful for my time at FACES-KEMRI Rongo District Hospital.