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Volunteer w/me in Kenya summer 2000?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Hank, Jan 31, 2000.

  1. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hello everyone-
    I am new to this forum, so please bear with me! I am going to begin med school this August, and will most likely be at KCOM. Before I begin that long road of 4 more years of school, I am going to spend this upcoming summer in the Western Province of Kenya volunteering. During the summer of 1998, I lived & worked with members of a non-governmental organization implementing sustainable community development projects. I have founded an Indiana University student organization called Outreach Kenya Development Volunteers (www.indiana.edu/~okdv) to continue the work. For the past 2 summers, AIDS education has been our main area of focus. This summer we plan on expanding and developing a microenterprise for women program to help fight the increasing feminization of poverty, as well as a "Building Libraries in Kenya" campaign. As some of you may know, AIDS in Africa has been getting a lot of press lately.....Clinton mentioned it in his State of the Union address and Newsweek devoted 10+ pages to the topic in the 1/17 issue. Well, after finishing med school (and hopefully while a student)I plan on going back and working w/ the locals on health care issues. There are many areas where health care is nearly non-existent.....something that I would like to try to change! I realize that even as a 1st yr student, there's not much "medical work" that I/we could do. But until I/we start rotations, there is always the curoisity/need for educational programs, especially AIDS education. Well, I just wanted to throw this idea out to some of you! If any of you are interested in learning more and/or possibly joining me this summer, please get in touch with me ([email protected]) or visit my organizations web page (www.indiana.edu/~okdv). Hope to hear from some of you! Take care,


    [This message has been edited by Hank (edited 03-24-2000).]
  2. Ranger

    Ranger Junior Member

    Jan 26, 2000
    Likes Received:

    Though I don't have a lot of time this morning to respond to your post, I do want to say that I'm interested in what you are doing this summer. I lived in Oaxaca, MX in a small, indigenous fishing village for over 2 years before becoming a pre-DO and I also plan on doing missionary medical work when I finish medical school. I did similiar type programs (sort of) while I was there in Mexico. I loved the mission and it really changed my life! I can't wait to go back to that kind of life! Are YOU the next Albert Schwitzer?!!! I thought that I was going to be!!! Ha!

    Take care and keep me in mind,

  3. JamesBond

    JamesBond Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Likes Received:
    What part of Kenya will you be going to? Coastal? Midland? Rural or urban? What city/town/village? I have--for more than 20 years--lived in East Africa (Kenya included), and I would be interested in learning more about your engagement. That part of the world is one of the most scenic places I have travelled to. Also (if this would help in any way), I happen to speak Swahili fluently and a few East African dialects too . . . and, as a side bar, I am currently planning to visit neighboring Uganda around late April through early May of 2000.
  4. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hello JamesBond-
    I will be heading to the Western Province of Kenya. The family I/we stay with lives in Bungoma (actually they live in the small rural village of Kabula, b/n Bungoma and Mumias....not too far from the Ugandan border). If you'd like more info about what I have done, please visit my organizations web site: www.indiana.edu/~okdv . However, since I will be starting med school in August, I have other/more plans for things in the future. PLease drop me a line: [email protected], so we can chat more! I'd love to hear your plans about Uganda this summer. I was actually thinking about traveling there while I am in Kenya this summer! Do you have contacts there? What did you do for the 20 years you lived in Africa? What "drew" you to Africa? Just curious! I have quite a few questions, and am sure I didn't answer yours adequately enough, but I have to get going now! It'd be great if you'd be interested in getting involved! I have already had several others email me....so there's definitely interest! Hope to hear from you soon! Take it easy,

  5. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hello Catherine, Elizabeth, James Bond, Melissa, Michael, Robert & Tim-

    It was great to get your messages!! [​IMG] It's always nice to meet others
    who are interested in a good cause! Before I get started, I should let
    you know of my intentions for posting my message. I am really interested
    in meeting others who are going to med school and might be interested in
    a rather difficult task of providing health care in areas of Kenya, and
    possibly other 3rd world developing countries, where it is non-existent.
    Obviously not until the 3rd and 4th years of med school and/or after becoming
    a doctor. However, there is still plenty of work and research that
    can/needs to be done before we'd actually practice medicine. Talking w/ as
    many physicians, community members, traditional healers, etc about the issues
    they are facing would be a definite positive start. I have the name and
    address of a traditional healer in the Western Province that I plan on
    meeting this summer. I think it would be interesting to hear how he
    approaches sickness and attempts to heal with the use of local indigenous
    plants/herbs. AIDS Awareness Programs are always beneficial and popular
    because this is arguably the biggest obstacle facing Kenyan society today.

    I think I need to apologize/clear something up regarding my initial
    posting. In the message I mentioned the student organization that I
    founded.......my purpose for mentioning this group was to let people know
    that I have been to Kenya am not merely "wishfuldreaming"/bull****ting about
    all of this. Some of you responded and asked about "getting an
    application for the program." Again, I apologize for any confusion this
    caused! So here's my point for posting the note: I want to organize a
    group of med students (totally separate from the organization I
    mentioned) to travel with me to Kenya this summer to "lay the foundation"
    for providing health care to the rural/isolated areas of the country. I
    am looking at this as a long term project, and would hope that some of you
    who might be interested in going this summer would also not view
    this as a "one time thing". Whew..I hope that wasn't too much too fast!?

    Well, several of you had questions, so I'll try to answer them:

    1. Is there an application? Yes and No. For IU students, there is. For
    you, no. If you are interested in going, I can help you with all of the
    arrangements. I would consider this a "new venture"..so maybe all of
    those interested could form some type of new organization? Any thoughts on
    that? Then if we attend separate med schools, we can just have different
    chapters but keep our work coordinated.

    2. When will you leave? I plan on leaving around May 15th. This date can
    be flexible if need be. I will probably be there until mid-July. I still
    haven't booked my flight yet.....so things aren't set in stone. The
    return date could really be open-ended......arriving together is more

    3. How much will it cost? Here's an approximate price breakdown for the

    Roundtrip flight (via Amsterdam) = $1,500
    Immunizations = $300
    VISA & Passport = $100
    Room & Board (2 months) = $300
    Program related travel = $200
    Equipment (water filter, backpack, etc.) = $300
    Leisure travel, safari, souvenirs,etc. = $800

    Approximate Total = $ 3,500

    4. How do you pay for the trip? You can search on the web for
    scholarships, etc. and also try to raise funds on your own. I realize this
    is a big concern for most of us. I work an extra job during the winter to
    pay for my trips! $3,500 may seem like a lot.....ok it is a lot.....but
    for the amazing experiences you'll have and the friendships you'll
    make.....well, it is just really worth it!!!!

    5. For more info, if you haven't already done so, please visit the web
    site for the student organization: www.indiana.edu/~okdv
    Any other specific questions you can email me or call me @ 812-334-3396

    I hope that this answered some of your questions!

    I want to be straight up and blunt with you about all of this. If you are
    looking for an opportunity where everything is all nice and laid
    out/planned for you, this might not be the best thing. I say this not to
    discourage you, but just to let you know what you are/might be getting
    yourself into! : ) However, if you are like me and really enjoy a
    challenge.......then this is the perfect opportunity for you!! [​IMG] I have
    visions.....my parents tell me i have WAY TOO MANY [​IMG]......and am really
    committed to this cause. If you are the type that likes to roll
    up their sleeves and tackle a problem head on.......PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
    join me! Uh oh.....am i getting too into this? Sorry, but this is a
    passion for me. I'll try to remain as normal as possible!? : ) Ok, like I
    was calmly saying.......here are some things to think about. I don't
    pretend to have all of the answers. I am just trying to make a small
    contribution to those less fortunate. We live in a world of absurd
    disparity.......and I feel that I have been put on this earth for some
    purpose. Uh oh.....there I go again......well, I'll let you digest all of
    this! Please feel free to keep your questions coming! I look forward to
    hearing back from all of you! You all sound like neat people. Please let
    me know a little more about yourselves...I already know one of you likes
    2-steppin'..to Garth? David Allen Coe? Both?

    Take care,

  6. Stephen Ewen

    10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Nationwide, we in the U.S. have 341 persons per doctor1, while the Middle Eastern nation of Jemen (Yemen) has 5,531 persons per doctor. Close to the mainland USA, in Jamaica, there are 6,159 persons per
    doctor. And the Oceanic nation of Papua New Guinea has 9,953 persons per doctor, while the Asian nation of Nepal has 16,830 persons per doctor. The African nation of Burkina Faso has an astonishing 57,310 persons
    per doctor (WFB), which is the worst country-wide doctor per person ratio in the world. However, in many locales of various developing nations there are areas the size of several southern U.S. states where there are easily more than 100,000 persons per individual physician. Statistics like these
    accumulate toward the fact that there are conservatively 3 billion people worldwide without even basic primary health care.

    Consider some further health care facts using Africa as a case in point. In Zambia, 20% of all children die before their fifth birthday, only because simple health measures cannot be taken on their behalf. Those that do make it past five face a life-expectancy of 45.4 years, which is better than for numerous other African nations.

    One such nation is Malawi, discussed above, where the life-expectancy is 35.26 years. Another is Uganda, where the government must pay $17 per year per person to developed nations in the form of debt payments. Because of this and other reasons, they can only spend $3 per person per year on healthcare for its citizens. Beyond this amount, the vast majority of Ugandans must somehow find a way to pay for health care out of pocket. However, since their average income is only $1.53 per day, most must stay sick, and many die. Because of this coupled with other reasons, the average Ugandan's
    life-expectancy is 39.69 years.

    Meanwhile, the vast majority of Ugandan-trained physicians are hardened to their neighbors' plight, and give treatment only in exchange for immediate cash payments. What is worse, corruption in their
    charging methods for double gain is common. The situation is little different in many other African nations, as represented by the fact that only 1 in 20 African women needing a C-Section for obstructed labor can get their operation, and only 15% of people with hernias in Africa can get the operation they need during their entire lifetime, even if their hernia is strangulated.

    To get an further idea of world medical needs, consider the following Table.

    TABLE 1.1: Physicians per Person by Nation and Region

    Nation|Region|Physician per Person Ration
    Bukino Faso W Africa 57310
    Malawi E Africa 45740
    Mozambique E Africa 43536
    Rwanda E Africa 40610
    Niger W Africa 38500
    Ethiopia E Africa 32500
    Chad C Africa 30030
    Eritrea E Africa 28000
    Cambodia SE Asia 27000
    Central African Republic C Africa 25890
    Tanzania E Africa 24970
    Zaire C Africa 23193
    Ghana W Africa 22970
    Uganda E Africa 20300
    Mali W Africa 19450
    Somalia E Africa 19071
    Ivory Coast W Africa 17847
    Senegal W Africa 17650
    Nepal NW Asia 16830
    Lesotha S Africa 15728
    Angola C Africa 15136
    Gambia W Africa 14536
    Mauritania W Africa 13167
    Sierra Leone W Africa 13150
    Togo W Africa 12992
    Burundai E Africa 12190
    Cameroon C Africa 12190
    Benin W Africa 11306
    Comoros E Africa 11100
    Zambia C Africa 10920
    Kenya E Africa 10150
    Papua New Guinea Oceania 9943
    Guinea W Africa 9732
    Sudan C Africa 9369
    Liberia W Africa 9324
    Bhutan SE Asia 8969
    Madagascar E Africa 8120
    Philippines SE Asia 8120
    Swaziland S Africa 7971
    Vanuatu Oceania 7345
    Zimbabwe S Africa 7110
    Indonesia SE Asia 7030
    Nigeria W Africa 6537
    Afghan. NW Asia 6430
    Jamaica C America 6159
    Haiti C America 6083
    Sri Lanka NW Asia 5870
    Yemen Middle East 5531
    Botswana S Africa 5417
    Maldives NE Asia 5377
    Bangladesh SE Asia 5264
    Djibouti E Afica 5258
    Cape Verde W Africa 4929
    Namibia S Africa 4610
    Kiribati Oceania 4483
    Mauritius E Africa 4415
    Thailand SE Asia 4360
    Congo C Africa 3873
    Guinea, Eq C Africa 3622
    Samoa Oceania 3584
    Solomon Is. Oceania 3584
    W. Samoa Oceania 3584
    Laos SE Asia 3555
    Burma SE Asia 3389
    Guinea-Bissau W Africa 3262
    Honduras C America 3090
    Micronesia Oceania 3084
    Pakistan NW Asia 2940
    Viet Nam SE Asia 2843
    S Tome&P W Africa 2819
    St. Vin/Gre C America 2690
    Iran Middle East 2685
    Guyana S America 2552
    St. Lucia C America 2521
    India NW Asia 2460
    Fiji Oceania 2438
    Malaysia SE Asia 2410
    Guatemala C America 2356
    Tuvalu Oceania 2261
    Marshall Is. Oceania 2217
    Tokelau Oceania 2217
    Tonga Oceania 2130
    Bolivia S America 2124
    Gabon C Africa 2000
    Dominica C America 1947
    Iraq Middle East 1922
    Nicaragua C America 1882
    Tunisia N Africa 1870
    Belize C America 1708
    Grenada C America 1617
    Trinidad C America 1543
    Tobago C America 1543
    St.Chr.-Nev. C America 1498
    Brunei Dar. SE Asia 1473
    Suriname S America 1348
    Antigua & Barbuda C America 1330
    El Salvador S America 1322
    Egypt N Afica 1320
    So. Africa S Africa 1271
    Paraguay S America 1250
    Turkey Middle East 1180
    Oman Middle East 1078
    S. Korea C Asia 1070
    Algeria N Africa 1062
    Colombia S America 1061
    Syria Middle East 1037
    Liechtenst. W Europe 1007
    Peru S America 997
    Seychelles E Africa 992
    Ecuador S America 980
    Bahrain Middle East 953
    Dom. Rep. C America 934
    Chile S America 895
    Malta E Europe 890
    Panama C America 840
    Jordan Middle East 813
    Taiwan C Asia 802
    Mexico C America 800
    Costa Rica C America 798
    Lebanon Middle East 771
    Singapore C Asia 711
    Nauru Oceania 700
    Libya N Africa 690
    Brazil S America 685
    Ireland E Europe 681
    Qatar Middle East 660
    China C Asia 648
    Hong Kong C Asia 648
    Tibet C Asia 648
    Switzerland E Europe 630
    U. Arab Em. Middle East 618
    United King E Europe 611
    Japan C Asia 610
    Venezuela S America 590
    Albania E Europe 574
    Romania E Europe 560
    Yugoslavia E Europe 533
    Saudi Arabia Middle East 523
    Kuwait Middle East 515
    Andorra E Europe 502
    Slovenia W Europe 496
    Monaco W Europe 490
    Poland E Europe 490
    Cyprus Middle East 478
    Luxembourg W Europe 469
    Canada N America 450
    Australia Oceania 438
    Macedonia E Europe 420
    Finland E Europe 406
    Netherlands E Europe 400
    Sweden E Europe 395
    Mongolia C Asia 380
    San Marino E Europe 375
    N. Korea C Asia 370
    Tajikistan NW Asia 362
    Denmark E Europe 360
    N. Zealand Oceania 359
    Croatia E Europe 356
    Iceland E Europe 355
    France E Europe 350
    Portugal E Europe 348
    Israel Middle East 345
    Hungary E Europe 344
    U.S.A. N America 341
    Uruguay S America 341
    Argentina S America 340
    Bahamas C America 340
    Barbados C America 340
    Slovakia W Europe 328
    Bulgaria E Europe 320
    Czech Rep. E Europe 311
    Belgium E Europe 310
    Norway E Europe 305
    Cuba C America 303
    Greece E Europe 303
    Germany E Europe 293
    Uzbekistan NW Asia 290
    Latvia W Europe 275
    Turkmenistan NW Asia 274
    Kyrgyzstan NW Asia 271
    Spain E Europe 257
    Azerbaijan NW Asia 255
    Kazakhstan NW Asia 250
    Belarus W Europe 250
    Moldova W Europe 250
    Armenia NW Asia 246
    Austria E Europe 230
    Ukraine E Europe 230
    Lithuania W Europe 220
    Russia C Asia 210
    Estonia W Europe 210
    Italy E Europe 210
    Georgia NW Asia 170
  7. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    So.......is anybody out there up for this??
  8. YFZ370

    YFZ370 New Member

    Mar 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hello Hank,

    I think you have a very noble idea. I am making a brief aside. You mentioned that you'd like to practice a bit of healthcare in Africa or perhaps other developing countries some day. I think that's a great idea. I has to ask though, Your medical degree will be in Osteopathic Medcine. If I'm not mistaken, a D.O. is only a legal, practicing physicician in the U.S., and only the M.D.'s are recognized internationally. What sort of barriers do you think this will present for you in the future?

  9. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hello YZX-
    Thanks for your message. I am not exactly sure how all of this works. I do know that D.O.'s are in the Army/Navy/A.F., which have bases all over the world. So it appears that DO's can practice outside of the US, right? I am not too worried about this issue. I have confidence in the osteopathic philosophy/profession and imagine by the time i get done w/ residency (2007....whew!?)the DO will be internationally recognized. ANd if not......i guess that's just one more thing that I'll have to attempt to do.


    ADRIANSHOE Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hank, for those of us who for whatever reason are not able to commit their time to actually going and helping...how about a network for basic supplies that you are going to need for your base of operations...people here could research the legal barriers to moving materials, raise funds, get medications that might be more difficult to obtain there, and feel like we are trying to help, this might free up a lot of your time...Maybe setting up some type of university account dedicated for funding so that some of the more cynical types would be assured that abuse is monitored and not tolerated...let me know what i can do.
  11. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hi YFZ,

    yes, you ARE mistaken. Go to the AOA web site and its has (or at least it used to have) a list of all the countries where DOs have full practice rights as physicians. By the way, being an MD doesn't mean an automatic ticket to practice abroad either, just as much as a foreign trained MD cannot come to this country and just start practicing.

    The Chair of our Micro Dept. is the president of DOCARE Intl. which, as the name implies, is an organization of volunteer DOs and DO med students which goes on medical missions in needing countries. This has been going on for years. During their latest medical mission, in Central America, they had a huge team of docs, students and lab personnel and saw aprox. 5,000 patients in two weeks (UHS, Ohio, Chicago and Arizona were some of the schools represented on this trip, plus many private practitioners). The medical team brings lots of supplies with them, including drugs donated by pharmaceutical companies and private physicians. The also bring down other needed equipment, to perform lab work and procedures, and one of our IM profs (a board certified gastroenterologist) performed several endoscopic procedures. Some lab work is also sent back to the States and our Path prof. (of the web Path Guy fame - if you guys are not familiar with it let me know, his web site is awesome and extremely helpfull for anyone taking path) and his assistants (who are all MDs, by the way, so DOCARE is not exclusivist, LOL) do quite a bit of work for the medical team at this end of things.
  12. mahaturi

    mahaturi New Member

    Feb 19, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hi Hank I am very pleased to hear that you are going to Kenya to volunteer over the summer. I am from Kenya myself and i will be starting med schoolin the fall at PCOM. If you need any insights as to what Kenya is all about then I can be of much help since I grew up there.
  13. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hi AdrianShoe-

    I/we could definitely use your help!! I have been gathering email addresses of those interested and am going to send an update email to everyone soon. PLease look for an email from me in the near future! Sorry it took so long for me to respond! Take care,

  14. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hi Mahaturi,
    Thanks for your message! Will you be in Kenya this summer? COuld you please drop me your email address (mine is [email protected])so I can keep you posted. There has been a nice response from people wanting to get involved, and I want to be able to stay in touch with everyone! Thanks,

  15. Hank

    Hank Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hello Everyone-

    Hope all is well where ever your paths have taken you! I am getting ready to get my summer plans in order and just wanted to see if anyone would be interested in joining me for part/all of the time?

    Here's my tentative itinerary:

    Depart Indy May 5th to Amsterdam RT Flight ~$500
    Amsterdam to Barcelona and back RT Flight $229 (train=$280)
    Depart Amsterdam May 14th to Nairobi, Kenya
    Return from Kenya mid-July

    The flight to Nairobi includes the stop in Amsterdam, so I got info about flying to just Amsterdam RT. So basically between 5/5 and 5/14 we could split time between Barcelona and Amsterdam, preferably with more time in
    Spain.There are several options here. If any of you wanted to just meet in Barcelona, that would probably be cheaper than hitting both places. Although I am not sure of the flight costs to Barcelona RT? Council Travel has a good sit that allows you to plug in dates and cities and instantly gives you a price quote (counciltravel.com).And if any of you were up for spending some time in East Africa, I'd love to have you join me! Besides volunteering, there are plenty of other things to do, like a safari in the Masaii Mara game park, climb Mt. Kenya or Kilimanjaro, chill on the beautiful beaches of the Indian Ocean, track gorillas in Uganda, etc. A RT flight between Indy and Nairobi is ~$1,200.The flight will be the expensive part of the trip,but oh so worth it!! [​IMG] I plan on staying at cheap, but clean and safe, hostels in Europe and not too many 7-course meals!
    Once in Kenya I/we'll live with my Kenyan family in a rural village of the Western Province called Kabula (if you look on a map, the closest town is Bungoma). Whew?hopefully that wasn't too much at once!? Well, please
    let me know if any of you might be interested in joining me for some fun adventures this summer! And if not, just drop me a line and let me know how life's been treating you! It's been a while since some of us have
    chatted! Have people started to finalize where they are going to school yet? Looks like I'll be at Kirksville! Anyone else?

    Take it easy,


    P.S. Even if you cannot travel to Kenya, I/we'll definitely need help here in the states planning, organizing, fundraising, etc. So please send me an email ([email protected]) if you are interested in that aspect! Thanks!

    [This message has been edited by Hank (edited 03-28-2000).]

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