Embu Provincial General Hospital (Adventure Alternative) Embu, Kenya
Large district hospital with 10 wards and 2 theatres that has basic equipment including x-ray and ultrasound machines. It is well funded for the area and covers a region the size of Devon and Cornwall in the UK.
It is possible to take an elective at this hospital through Adventure Alternative
Electives Network says:
£1,100 for 6 weeks. This included accommodation, all meals, all fees to hospital. Meet and greet at airport and a local contact to support you the whole time you are there.
Embu is a busy market town situated on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. It has a very friendly community that will do their best to make you feel at home.
It is possible to take an elective at this hopsital through Adventure Alternative.
|Provided by the hospital:||Yes|
|Setting:||Embu Scout hut|
Teaching offered for medicine
Consultant teaching ward rounds and presentations
|Contact role||Elective Co-ordinator, Adventure Alternative|
|Tel||+44 2890 701476 / 831258|
31 Myrtledene Road
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The whole elective was great, the support from Adventure Alternative was brilliant as arriving in Kenya on your own would be very daunting. To have all accommodation and meals and transport provided also helped a lot. You lived with local people at the scout centre so got a real flavour of the African lifestyle. The hospital was well set up and gave a good insight into many of the prevelent diseases, malnutrition and viruses that are so common over there. Opportunities for teaching were available and the doctors were pleased to have students. The other advantage of going with Adventure Alternative were the added bonuses of joing their organised trips to Mount Kenya, Killimanjaro or to go on Safari.
17 Oct 2006
£1,100 for 6 weeks. This included accommadation, all meals, all fees to hospital. Meet and greet at airport and a local contact to support you the whole time you are there.
The charity were extremely good and helped to orientate you and provided you with a local contact to teach you about the local area. They organised the placement and then gave you options to climb Killimanjaro/Mount Kenya or go on safari.
31 Jan 2007
Flights- £700 Trip- £1,100 This was organised through Adventure Alternative who organised all placements and accomadation.
Overall the elective was fantastic and I gained lots of hands-on experience such as doing lumbar punctures, femoral venepuncture, and even assisted doing C sections. The interns basically do all of the work load and you are working alongside them. The consultants come around twice a week for ward rounds and often taught while going along. It really opened my eyes to how medicine is practiced in the 3rd world, although Kenya has a much higher standard in comparison to other 3rd world countries. I would definitely recommend it.
21 Jun 2008
Flights – approximately £500.
A busy hospital, although not too big to feel unwelcoming – the interns were very friendly, and with a bit of enthusiasm and initiative many opportunities became available. I spent time in paediatrics, obstetrics, general medicine; as well as palliative care, hiv care clinic and paediatric occupational therapy. So many eye-opening experiences – so much to be surprised by, learn from and become more aware of.
With a bit of persistence the placement was easy to organise, and the medical superintendent was available to discuss any queries with if needed.
05 Jun 2012
Embu is a busy town, with lots to get involved in – the rescue centre for street kids, toto love (hiv children’s home), youth climate action teams. Very friendly and safe, obvious common sense precautions like not going out alone at night, using taxis etc; but otherwise no problems. The hospital is at the top of the town, and within walking distance of most places. Also within reach of Nairobi by matatu. Plenty of supermarkets, markets, and a swimming pool
Nothing to be especially aware culture-wise – obvious things like wearing respectful clothes with adequate cover. Friendly faces & handshaking go down well. All fairly easy to be a part of, though
You get out what you put in. Medical staff and patients were friendly, interested, and willing to get you involved- it really is up to you to pursue your interests and get hands on experience- there are many opportunities to help in theatres, visit the labs, do basic clinical skills, visit patients with community teams- no complaints!
05 Jul 2013
Embu is a good place to be if you are happy to organise your own things to do, as well as getting involved in the local charity projects which go on – my placement here was through the charity Moving Mountains, so there was never a dull moment – hospital work, visiting friends, the kids street project, the local orphanage, school for the disabled, football…
We (and the patients) happened to fall unlucky over the period that we were doing our elective as there was a nurses strike on and the hospital was essentially at a stand still. DESPITE THIS, the time that we did spend at the hospital was enjoyable and consultants were generally keen to teach (when they were there). It was amazing to learn about the different health care system and see diseases that are not at all prevalent my home nation. The staff were welcoming and the time that we didn’t spend at the hospital we spent with the locals….
02 Aug 2013
Embu, although is a small area, the locals are very friendly and welcoming. We spent a lot of time at the rescue centre that is associated with the organisation we organised our elective through (Adventure alternative). Adventure alternative made the stay incredibly easy and we felt very supported. It was an absolutely AMAZING experience and we were secretly grateful that the hospital was at a stand still, as it meant we got more time to do other activities including hanging with the locals but also climb Mount Kenya and do Rift Valley safari, again with Adventure Alternative.
Embu Provincial Hospital is the main hospital servicing the Eastern Province of Kenya. It has both inpatient and outpatient services. We spent three weeks attached to the general medical ward and then a further two weeks attached to the paediatric ward. Unfortunately, over the whole period of time that we were in Kenya there was a nurses strike going on. This affected our placement in that, because there were no nurses working in the hospital, patient numbers were minimal. There were still people being cared for in the hospital if they turned up, but the public had the understanding that if they came to hospital they would likely be turned away since there were no nurses around to care for people. This was not entirely true, but the hospital was definitely not able to function at full or even half capacity without the presence of the nurses. Because of this situation, our placement in Embu entailed us spending our mornings at the hospital for two to three hours, followed by us spending the rest of the time enjoying the new community that we were living in and helping out at the Rescue Centre in town which is one of the projects that Moving Mountains supports. Although we didn’t get as much time and experience in the hospital as we had anticipated, we definitely still managed to learn a lot. The doctors had a lot more time on their hands to spend longer with each patient and do more teaching than they would normally have been able to do. They also had more time to spend teaching us about the Kenyan health system and the way that the hospital was run. We got to see people with a number of signs, symptoms and conditions that we had either never encountered or had not encountered to such an extreme extent before. Examples of some of these conditions were HIV, TB, malaria and hepatitis.
01 Sep 2013
While staying in Embu, we lived with one of the people working for the company whose house was set up to accommodate medical students and other charity workers who came to stay in Embu. We had flushing toilets, warm water for showers, electricity and good kitchen facilities, which was not necessarily the case with some of the other placements throughout Kenya. The house was a 10min walk from the hospital and a 20min walk from town.
The fee that we paid to Adventure Alternative for the elective included airport transfers, transport to elective location, accommodation in guest houses, a weekly allowance for food and local transport, a donation made to the hospital and the cost of the actual hospital placement, a donation made to Moving Mountains and general administration costs. Definitely worth every cent!
My biggest piece of advice about electives in general is to immerse yourself in the culture and community that you are living in. Be social and say yes to any experiences that are offered…you won’t regret it!
Outside of our hospital placement, my elective buddy (Lisa) and I had an incredible time immersing ourselves within the Embu community and loved our experiences of day to day Kenyan living. The fact that we had so much time to spend in the community was definitely the plus side of the nurses strike and ended up being the most rewarding and favourite part of the time I spent in Kenya. We had Swahili lessons from new friends and learnt how to cook local cuisine. We wandered the colourful food markets on many occasions, spoilt for choice of so many delicious tropical fruits and vegetables. We were also lucky enough to spend Christmas and the New Year with our friends who became like a family away from home to us.
Through organising our elective with Adventure Alternative we had the opportunity to visit and learn about a number of the different projects that their charity, Moving Mountains, is involved with. In particular, as mentioned above, we spent a lot of time at the Rescue Centre in Embu, which is a centre that provides lunches for street kids and a place for them to spend time at. We helped with cooking and cleaning at the centre, but also just spent time hanging out with the kids, playing games and getting to know them and their stories. Through this centre, the charity has also set up football teams for different age groups that play in local competitions. We trained with the teams at least three times per week which sky rocketed my non-existent football skills! The service and care provided to the kids by the staff that work at the Rescue Centre was so heart warming to see and I truly admire the great amount of love and commitment they put into their work because it makes such a huge difference to the lives of the people that they are working to help.
Along the way Lisa and I had a couple of epic trips that we organized through Adventure Alternative. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to climb Mount Kenya. This took us to an incredible view out over Kenya from 4985m up into the sky! Then for our final week of travel, after the conclusion of our hospital placement, we went on safari. On safari we travelled to Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru and then journeyed on to explore the startling and beautiful wilderness of Masai Mara. I recommend waiting to organise any trips like these until you are in the country instead of booking with different companies in advance. Once you are there though, get onto it early so that plans can be made in time.
My Kenyan elective definitely lived up to and exceeded all of my expectations and it was very difficult for Lisa and me to get on a plane to leave at the end of our time there. We never felt unsafe the whole time we were there and were incredibly well looked after by the staff working for Adventure Alternative.
I spent 3 weeks working in Embu Provincial hospital on the general medical wards and found it to be an excellent experience. I worked closely with the medical interns and spent the majority of my time their shadowing them, helping out with simple procedures, coming up with management plans and attending ward rounds. Their was no formal teach as such but plenty of opportunity to learn on the job and perform procedures and examination. The hospital itself is very basic, understaffed and overcrowded, but this is as to be expected in a Kenyan hospital. What would be considered basic equipment is often not available and patients are sent to Nairobi, or a procedure may be improvised. All of the staff speak english and are particularly helpful and friendly. I often cooked with them in the evenings or joined them at the local bar on weekends. Accommodation is with the President of the Moving Mountains Kenya charity which is approximately 300m away from the hospital and shared with volunteers who are working in the area. I can recommend Embu as a hospital and Adventure Alternative (AA) as a company to organise an elective with. I had a great time in Kenya and found my experience well organised and rewarding. Particularly as with AA I was able to join up with their safari trips and climb Mount Kenya as well as see other parts of Kenya.
14 Sep 2014
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