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Effective methods in medical education, emergency medicine and preventive healthcare in Kenya

Under the project, a volunteer was to conduct classes in medical education by means of medical simulations and standardized patients for pupils of the Mary Ann Van Dam School of Nursing in Kenya. The project was also to conduct a certified training of the American Cardiology Association for teachers of the Mary Ann Van Dam School of Nursing. The other aspect of the performed project was to engage a volunteer in every-day activities of the Hospital Matibabu Foundation Kenya (MFK).

The project included the purchase of teaching equipment that was transferred to the local partner and the performance of an educational initiative to increase the awareness and knowledge about the living situation, tropical diseases of residents of the Siaya region in Kenya, as well as medical education of nurses at the school in Ukwala among lecturers and approx. 68 thousand students of 12 medical universities in Poland.

In 2014, the Matibabu Foundation Kenya funded the Mary Ann Van Dam School of Nursing. The institution possesses teaching materials, however pupils and teachers are not able to use the purchased equipment during classes in a sufficient way. It is very important to provide the local community with appropriate instruments for learning, however the education about the use of available resources and the application of modern methods allows to factually increase the awareness and skills of pupils in saving the life and health. The Polish Medical Mission is experienced in performing educational projects, inter alia in Kenya. In 2011, the project “Volunteering in the St. Luke’s Hospital in Kaloleni (Kenya) (WPP2011/1297)” was performed under which 100 persons were trained in the prevention of infectious diseases and providing aid in situations of threat to life. Under the project “Education in emergency medicine and crisis management - Kenya 2012 (PPR2012/0143)” in 2012, the Polish Medical Mission educated participants in broadly understood emergency medical services and crisis management.

Effective methods in medical education, emergency medicine and preventive healthcare in Kenya

During the period from 1 October until 31 December 2015, the Polish Medical Mission Association in cooperation with the Matibabu Foundation Kenya performed a project aimed at enhancing the medical knowledge and practical skills among pupils of the Mary Ann Van Dam School of Nursing. The project was performed in Ukwala, a locality in the Siaya region in Kenya. The project directly covered students and teachers of the Mary Ann Van Dam School of Nursing, as well as patients of the Hospital Matibabu Foundation Kenya.

The project directly referred to the following Millennium Development Goals:

  • GOAL 4: Reduce child mortality by decreasing the child mortality ratio by 2/3 for children in the age below 5 years.
  • GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases by preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and limiting new infections, preventing the spread of malaria and other dangerous diseases and limiting the number of new cases of diseases.

The aim of the project:

- Enhancing the knowledge and methodical and teaching skills of teachers of the Mary Ann Van Dam School of Nursing;

- Enhancing the knowledge of pupils in saving the life and health of babies, children and adults, as well as in the prevention of malaria and the prevention, channels of spreading and symptoms of diseases;

- Ensuring medical assistance and community-based care for patients under the care of the Hospital Matibabu Foundation Kenya;

- Increasing the awareness and knowledge about the living situation, tropical diseases of residents of the Siaya region in Kenya among lecturers and teachers of 12 medical universities in Poland;

The above mentioned goals were achieved by:

- Educating 42 pupils of a nursing school in the course of 21 trainings and 5 teachers in the course of 24 specialist trainings;

- Performing an expertise and presenting proposals as to the improvement of the teaching curriculum and applicable educational techniques at schools;

- Supporting the operation of the Hospital Matibabu Foundation.

Effective methods in medical education, emergency medicine and preventive healthcare in Kenya

Five teachers of the Mary Ann van Dam School of Nursing who participated in 24 specialist theory and skill training sessions – at which the volunteer discussed teaching methods – broadened their knowledge and their methodological and didactic skills.

Forty-two second-year students of the Mary Ann van Dam School of Nursing who participated in 21 sessions of a training course increased their knowledge of health and life-saving measures for infants, children and adults, and of malaria prevention, including pathways of transmission and symptoms.

Some of the patients of the Matibabu Foundation Kenya Hospital benefited from the direct care of the volunteer, who participated in the day-to-day operation of the facility for 20 working days.

As part of the project’s educational initiative, the volunteer developed a series of lesson plans/scenarios (titled “Luoland cases – effective methods in medical education, emergency medicine and preventive healthcare in Kenya”), and produced a documentary titled “Polish Aid for Louland,” which she submitted to the Polish Society for Medical Simulation. These materials are now used by lecturers and teachers at 12 medical schools in Poland, which contributes to deepening their knowledge about the living conditions of residents and tropical diseases contracted by residents of Siaya in Kenya.