Migori, October 2014
Trying to close an anion gap on a critically ill diabetic keto-acidotic patient without laboratory technology was a challenging way to start my inpatient experience in Migori. After my month in Kenya, I feel prepared to overcome a variety of complex medical and surgical problems; it was an invaluable experience. I arrived in Kenya not knowing what to expect and I was surprised by the constant innovation and change surrounding me.
The investment in healthcare, infrastructure and development – despite limited resources – was remarkable. FACES clients demonstrate health and knowledge seeking behaviours that are refreshing and motivating. The tireless commitment to excellence and quality care that all members of the FACES team deliver with kindness and patience was impressive. I was continually amazed by some of the dramatic and sometimes devastating presentations on the inpatient service. Despite the gravity of each situation, the health care team worked together to provide each patient with quality care and optimal multidisciplinary management. I know that the combined efforts of our team continues to make a positive impact on both an individual and community level in Migori and throughout Kenya.
As a Resident Physician, I was able to contribute a unique perspective to each patient interaction. I was trusted with a great deal of responsibility and added value to our team by teaching some basic medical, procedural and nutritional principles we apply regularly in our practice in the US. I taught the medical students physical exam skills and they taught me language and cultural norms. Together we learned how to solve problems with the means that we had. It was chaotic, sad, fun and exciting all in the same day. I gained rural procedural and infectious disease management skills that are not readily available to me in my training. Lastly, I gained lifelong friendships, spectacular memories, and a new appreciation for the challenges in global health. I am proud of the work that FACES does and I can’t wait to return.