<<< Professor Cal Mmacpherson conducting ultrasound examination with students of St. George’s University on Clinical Safari.
Monday 29th June, 2009: Students from St George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, have visited Kenya to take part in the first practical tropical medicine course to be held in collaboration with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), one of Africa’s leading health development organisations. Seven of the students were from Grenada and eight were from St George’s University’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholar’s programme at Northumbria University in the UK. The St. George’s University students were joined by five local medical students from Nairobi University who added greatly to the cultural interchange experience by the students. The addition of this selective underpins the university’s commitment to its highest purpose of providing a truly international education for students.
“Apart from visiting hospitals, research institutes and receiving lectures from experienced AMREF administrators in Nairobi,” said Professor Cal Macpherson, St George’s Vice Provost for International Programme Development, “our students also visited the AMREF health centre at Entasopia, in Kajiado District in southern Kenya. In collaboration with the regional health authorities and Dr John Nduba, Director of AMREF’s Sexual Reproductive and Child Health programme, an ultrasound clinic was conducted on reproductive health as well as liver disease. More than 250 people were screened including 49 pregnant women. The clinic revealed no cases of cystic echinococcosis or Amoebic Liver Abcesses. The lack of these parasitic infections was a good sign, and it was hoped that the information on delivery dates for the babies would be useful to improve the health of the mothers and their children. All the information from the clinic was left with the AMREF team and feedback was provided to all. In the coming year, it is hoped that funds will be raised in order to provide an ultrasound scanner for the AMREF clinic.
“It was a tremendous learning experience for our students to see and hear first hand from the AMREF experts, both in Nairobi and in the field. Such a wealth of both practical and field experience that was shared had a profound effect on the students’ outlook on culture, health systems and health care delivery options.”
The visit evolves further the relationship between St. George’s University and AMREF. Three years ago, St George’s awarded two full Master of Public Health (MPH) scholarships to AMREF’s Vicky Kimotho of Kenya and Edna Matasha of Tanzania. Vicky and Edna have both returned to work with AMREF in their respective countries. Vicky was instrumental in helping to co-ordinate the students’ programme along with Nicky Blundell Brown and Mary Wanjiru Kiragu from the AMREF Heritage & Special Events Department.
“I felt that the course was tremendously successful,” said Professor Macpherson. “We hope to build on this experience to be able to offer a similar course on an annual basis.”