I participated in the STEP clinical elective for 6 weeks at the Nairobi facility and it was quite an experience. When going there, my primary objectives were to understand how ARV therapy is modified based on the patient as well as provision of family planning counseling and PMTCT care. Suffice to say that my expectations were met far and beyond.The staff at both facilities were friendly and took the time to introduce me to patients(introducing me like am already a doctor which felt really nice but of course we had to add that am still a student).
What I loved most about the FACES clinic was the ambient atmosphere created for Doctor patient interaction with utmost confidentiality and integrated services especially at the mimosa clinic.There the FACES clinic works hand in hand with the Child Doctor program to provide all if not most services. I was taught how to manage a patient as a wholesome being where HIV care was not my only concern but I had to enquire about their TB risks,common cold,hyper acidity,stomach ulcers,malaria among so many more depending on patient symptoms. However most patients were coming back for drug refill with no associated complaints. The PMTCT services were top notch; following a pregnant lady throughout her pregnancy,after delivery and her baby advising on nevirapine prophylaxis,breastfeeding practices,blood tests like PCR and dry blood spot and emphasizing on monthly clinical follow up.The blue card used at the facility provides an easy tool for monitoring of patients welfare as well as the ICF/IPT card for TB monitoring.My colleague and I however recommended during our CME that they could add a provision for cervical cancer screening for the female patients due to increased risk of Ca Cervix.
I encouraged them to interact with doctors at hospitals and referral centers so that the patients with HIV are referred to them for better care because I have honestly not seen such dedicated HIV care and most of their patients are completely healthy. They truly explain that HIV is not a death sentence.All in all this was quite a learning experience that I would not have traded for anything else and I look forward hopefully to interact with them again in future.