Touch Africa international is proud to launch an international medical internship program.
This program is open to the following group of students:
- Nursing students
- medical students
- students doing electives and clinicals
- students specializing in public health
- students interested in learning about tropical medicine
- students interested in learning about strategies used to provide health care in rural areas
- students interested in learning about family health
- students interested in any other area of study
- any other medical student
- health workers
- medical doctors
This program has been developed out of the need to assist medical centers and offer medical services to mainly rural populaces. The program also helps the volunteers learn more practical medicine while helping the few medical staff catering to the patients.
There are only 5,400 trained doctors in Kenya therefore having a ratio of 1:6,000 doctor/patient in urban areas with rural areas having ratios of up to 1:85,000 patients.
Touch Africa International therefore has started this program to help expose foriegn students to medical issues in africa while mobilizing support for the health facilities in rural areas.
The high doctor/patient ratios are caused by:
- The continued exodus of nurses and doctors to foreign countries in search of greener pastures (better pay).
- A shortage of enough recognized institutions that give the nursing and medical credentials; this makes the few available institutions out of reach for aspiring nurses and doctors and also expensive making them more unreachable.
- Most of the nurses and doctors who study abroad in foreign countries end up working in those respective countries.
- Nursing and medicine as a course in it self takes a long time and is also very tasking and this discourages some of the potential students who are looking for a shorter course to pursue.
The government of Kenya has come up with programmes that improve the terms of service of already practicing nurses and doctors but this has not eliminated the problem. The population is growing and the ratio of persons per nurse/doctor is growing.
Statistics reveal that:
- Population 17.3 Million female, 16.3 Million; male total 33.6 Million
- No of doctors; 5,443(6,062 persons per doctor)
- No of dentist 841(39,992 persons per dentist)
- No of pharmacists 2,570
- Infant mortality rate; (per 1000) 77 for children under the age of 5. 115 for all children in general.
The statistics clearly depict the health situation with an acute shortage of medical staff and patient congestion in our health institutions.
The congestion in the facilities leads to
- Overworking of the nurses and doctors.
- Patients not being attended to.
- Rise in the infant and general mortality rate.
Touch Africa therefore is concerned about rural community health institutions because:
- They serve the most needy members of the community;
- Most Inhabitants of rural areas live below the poverty line; this makes it impossible for this group of people to find better services in private institutions.
- Touch Africa is concerned about rural community development and we believe that development go hand in hand with better health.
- Rural areas in general are marginalized and lack the necessary infrastructure for development.
Therefore Touch Africa has developed a mutually beneficial internship programme for all medical practioners and health facilities
In this venture we are willing to invite institutions and universities to send students, practicing nurses and doctors to our medical institutions to conduct a professional internship while addressing the issue of shortage of nurses; the students will be attached to a supervisor who will monitor their work.
The interns will follow a small curriculum that we have already developed for at least 3 months.
We have developed partnerships with recognized health institutions notably Malindi district general hospital, St. Luke's hospital and Kilifi district hospital (see annex one below)
During the internship periods, Touch Africa will billet interns with selected families near the institution, or in organization where the intern is working. We select families with a good social trend/record and train them on living with other people from other cultures.
This is a major policy for Touch Africa, through which our interns are able to have first hand experience on basic living cultures of standard African families.
Benefits to the interns.
1. Learn more about tropical diseases in Africa eg malaria.
2. Learn more about infectious diseases.
3. See hands on the effects of HIV/AIDS.
4. Learn more about the medical systems and procedures here in Kenya.
5. Apply for academic medical credits in the school back home.
6. Learn about the culture of the local people.
7. Visit many other places while in Kenya e.g. historical sites.
8. Make a vivid comparison of Kenya and home country.
9. Help in alleviating the shortage of medical staff thus contributing towards reducing the mortality rates.
10. Open up doors for many other interns all over the world to participate by being part of the pilot project.
11. Make long lasting friendships with the local people.
12. Participate in the planning and organizing of medical outreach programs that include medical camps, immunization campaigns etc
* Annex 1 Profile of Malindi District Hospital
Malindi town is approximately 120 kilometers north of Mombasa and 600 kilometers from Nairobi city. It is the district headquarters of Malindi district.
Since the elevation of Malindi to a district, the hospital received district status and thus the facility had to be expanded.
- New wards were built raising the bed capacity from 80 t0 250 beds.
- A maternity shelter was built to cater to pregnant women.
- A pediatric ward
- A HIV/AIDS fully equipped wing with voluntary counseling and testing services.
- A theatre
- A maternal child healthcare department.
All this expansion was made possible with the help of:
- Danish development agency (DANIDA)
- United states agency for international development (USAID)
All this expansion was done but the number of staff addition was very minimal; thus there is a very big staff shortage at the center. It's the only referral government hospital in a radius of 70 kilometers. The nearest such institutions are in Kilifi 70 kilometers south and Garisa 300 kilometers north. This makes the hospital have a lot of patients that the staffs are not able to cope with; thus the administration is welcoming any type of medical volunteer, intern and professionals to come and help out with the situation.
* Annex 2 Profile of St Lukes Hospital
St. Luke's mission hospital is the only referral government hospital within a radius of 50 kilometers. It has a bed capacity of 100. Interns will help out with the nursing, pharmacy and outpatient departments.
There is a small nursing school within the hospital. Interns will meet young village girls who have come to be trained as nurses and will interact and share their experiences with them. The hospital in a small town called Kaloleni; Kaloleni is 450 kilometers from the capital city Nairobi. Its in the coastal province of Kenya. Its 40 kilometers from Mombasa the second largest city in Kenya. It's mainly inhabited by the giriama tribe one of the major tribes in the mijikenda clan. People are very friendly and you will enjoy a lot.
Missionaries ran this hospital until the early 90's when it was handed to the government. It is presently sponsored by USAID and the BUSH Hospital Foundation who have began a nursing school in the hospital.
The hospital has HIV/AIDS department /clinic for issuing voluntary counseling and testing; the clinic is also used to monitor the progress of HIV/AIDS patients under medication.
It receives a lot of patients that the local staff cannot cope with.
The hospital is burdened by the shortage of manpower to deliver its services. Touch Africa has also introduced general volunteer placements at the hospital where we are welcoming both local and international volunteer irrespective of race, religion and gender.
* Cost of Participation
It costs 480 USD to participate in this internship for the first 2 weeks 780 USD for one month and thereafter an additional 100 USD for every week; this cost applies to both individuals and groups; all interns/volunteers are picked at the airport by our staff;
Participants in this program will also be requested to carry donations of medical supplies and equipment.
For further information about this program please contact us.
Local interns and professional may contact us directly at our offices by booking an appointment with us; you can do that by phone or email.