Starting from the Roots: Observing Healthcare and Population Health Endeavors in a Lower Middle Income Country
The Slemenda Scholarship:
The Slemenda Scholarship is a program that was developed in 1998 for rising second year medical students in order for them to gain experience in the field of global health through the context of the AMPATH Consortium in Eldoret, Kenya. As a medical professional aspiring to work internationally, it is an invaluable experience to observe practices in a well-established partnership such as the one between Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi University, and Indiana University.
The first half of the summer was spent visiting and participating in various AMPATH initiatives. This included rounding on the medical, surgical, gynecological, and pediatric wards, volunteering with the child life team, visiting community health and microfinance projects, observing rural HIV clinics, and working at a school developed for street children in Eldoret.
The second half of the summer was spent working with the Maternal Newborn and Child Health team, specifically in the Reproductive Health department. I worked as a research assistant for a new project seeking to develop an antenatal care clinic for young girls aged 10-19 in Uasin Gishu County at the Rafiki Centre for Adolescents at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. I developed recruitment materials and a database for qualitative and quantitative data collection for the project.
On returning to Indiana, it is my goal to champion the work of the AMPATH Consortium and attempt to ensure its longevity through the next generation of globally-minded physician-scientists. I will take the lessons I learned and observations I made in this setting and work to apply them to improving healthcare in underserved areas in our own community as well.