My Experience on a Medical Mission to Kenya

by - August 22, 2018

Such is the dance of life. Filled with passion, uncertainty, culture, human essence, caring, and cultivation of goodness for all. By far, this visit to Kenya will remain one of the best moments in my life, and I’m truly humbled to have been able to take part in such a selfless act for humankind. 

It is my belief that giving back creates a heightened euphoria within oneself, which blends the qualities of selflessness, and calmly reawakens ones consciousness to do good without expecting anything material in return. This journey has taken my heart and mind to basic foundations of life, being a brothers keeper, caring for the less privileged and giving back with no strings attached. The fact that another person’s life changes well because of a selfless act of lending a hand in itself is a blessing from God. 

The patients whom we got to interact with were very appreciative even if our team didn’t meet all their needs during their encounter. The ones whom were not able to benefit from our encounter, I’m forever broken-hearted. We couldn't solve all of their problems, but knowing that some would return to the same state we saw them is annoyingly frustrating. Some had terminal Illness that they were unaware of, and that was very sad to see. 

After being part of this trip, I have become more humble because of going to Kenya of this medical mission. I have learned from some of the patients that even in the absence of barrage of material possessions, they appreciated the little they had, and were keen to seek healthcare. They didn’t drive or wore the best linen, but wore smiles, positive attitudes and kept warm hearts. 

A harsh truth with later came to light was that the low income communities had the most adverse outcomes in terms of infant mortality, maternal adverse outcomes, complications of hypertension and diabetes. Nonetheless, the majority of them said they made sure to take their prescribed medications daily and refilled them as directed; but when it came to payment for laboratory studies and other relevant testing such as imaging, they couldn’t afford the costs, and this was heart wrecking for me to hear. There were diabetics with no HBA1C in years, and I can go on and on and on about my experience at this particular hospital, but the negative aspect could taint my reason for going to Kenya in the first place. 

My team and I were successful in making recommendations, and they have wholeheartedly accepted our constructive criticisms, therefore, we have all agreed to follow up within 1 year. Now let me tell you about my Kenyan people’s character. I like to focus on the brighter side of things. They are kind, they are warm, and they are very compassionate, and even more hospitable and very comical in character. There’s poverty like everywhere else, but in the midst of that, there are impressive sights of architecture, which blends with their unique culture, dazzled in well tuned, groovy music. 

Also, the Kenyan people are very in tune with life and western culture. They are very charming in receiving people from all walks of life, once again, humorous and very laid back. For someone reading this who plan to go to Kenya, I have to make emphasis that safety is paramount to the people of Kenya, and at every public place, there are tight security measures in place. There are camera’s everywhere, metal gates with armed guards at most public places. When it comes to staying abreast with the latest in technology, count them in. They’re sharp and boldly fine tuned with their gadgets. It’s common for a cab driver to allow the customer to connect to their wireless network as a form of customer service. They waste no time when it comes to showcasing their culture, and their smooth tongued Swahili could send one into daze. Most Kenyans seem very patriotic as they displayed some sort of Kenyan regalia on them, either a bracelet or something exemplifying Masai tradition. 

I didn’t get to explore the length and breadth of their cuisine, but the little that I had was quite similar to Ghanaian dish: Banku, fufu, and tilapia - steamed, fried or grilled. Quite tasty I must admit. I wish I had the time to get more of the food. Oh! let me tell you about their roads, they are very pleasant in most places in Nairobi, but engulfed in heavy traffic in the mornings and late evenings. There's so much traffic that at times it is suffocating, and this causes long wait times. But, wait a minute, remember that this is typical in major cities, and so don’t be judgmental. The long wait in traffic congestion serves as avenues for criminals to explore “Superman-like” skills to snatch phones and purses depending on ones vulnerability. So be very careful! 

I love Kenha. 
I know deep down that this will not be our last meeting. You’ve taught me a lot, but Kenha you have some work to do as well. I guess we both have some work to do. The most important lesson that I’m taking home is to be humble. We can all make a difference in our various communities if we all chip in our time and commitment. Let’s make this earth habitation an awesome one. 


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