SERVICE LEARNING AT USA - BOSTON

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Date and time: 
Wed, 2015-05-06 10:49
Location / Venue: 

USA - BOSTON

School of Nursing Sciences had the privilege of visiting Boston College of Nursing on a first exchange program since the department of Nursing (1968) or the  School Sciences was started (2004). This was made possible through the collaboration between University of Nairobi and University of Massachusetts Boston on Heart and Sole AfyaNjema Project.

The stated Project was from 2010 to 2015. Between 2010 and 2013 the Boston Faculty and Students came to Kenya once every year in June/July after fund raising for community service / medical camps atO’ngataRungai Health Centre, Kambui Health Centre and Mbagathi District Hospital sites for University of Nairobi. Approximately 500 patients were attended at each site once a year.

In 2014  University of Nairobi,  School of Nursing had the Medical Camps with some Faculty members from Boston.  Since the students  from Boston College of Nursing didn’t come to Kenya, some of their funding was used to sponsor Kenya Teams’ trip to Boston in April 2015 which is a good starting point. We hope more of that will happen in future.

Medical School Boston – University of  Massachusetts with members of  AfyaNjema -Kenya
UoN-CHS - SONS  3rd Right  Prof. Anna Karani;  2nd Right Winnie Karuga;  2nd left Brian Muthe
e

Heart and Sole AfyaNjema Project was started in 2008 in TumuTumu and Kijabe Mission Hospitals and Nursing Schools in collaboration with Boston College of Nursing. University of Nairobi joined in 2010. Therefore, the team from Kenya included staff and students from the two institutions and University of Nairobi.
Members of Kenya Heart and Sole AfyaNjemaProject visitedUMASS Boston for a two weeks period i.e. 16th to 27th April 28, 2015.The group consisted six students: two from AIC Kijabe School of Nursing, two from PCEA Tumu Tumu School of Nursing and two from University of Nairobi and three faculties; one from each institution. Group members had a chance to interact during preparation for the trip. Expressions of excitements were outstanding as this was the first flight and visit to U.S.A for most of people.

All the students attended classroom sessions  with Boston students, while lecturers attended a faculty meeting. The faculty meeting discussed curriculum reviewwhere a lot of issues are similar to University of Nairobi including students attending the meetings. The main difference was the grading system which is GPA  credit system. The school also gives yearly awards to faculty:- Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Educator, Preceptors, Adjunct, mentor, Alumni, PhD, Masters and DS. They also have a research day.
The Lecturers also attended a conference by Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI)  an Association for Nurses in the world. Several Scientific papers were presented by Nurses. The Key Note speaker by Prof. Barbara emphasized Leadership for Change and emerging issues such as how nursing will change when time comes  where duties will be  delegated  to Robots and issues of Genetics.
Nursing Practice will change including responsibility of teaching in terms of research which is growing. She said no Profession survives unless they attend to the work of the profession which requires attending to the Nurses Act and Ethics, social policies and research. Specialization is important. In America, Nurses are ranked No.1 as the most trusted profession according to Prof. Barbara. Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) is committed to Nursing Excellence, knowledge and Leadership.
UoN, CHS, SONS:Winnie Karuga (left); Prof. Anna K. Karani (Middle) ;Tonny Brian Muthee (Right)

On arrival the group  was warmly welcomed by Prof Eileen of AfyaNjema Project. As the group drove to Roslindale they could not fail to appreciate the beauty of the city. Apartments are well built with no major disparity between high class and middle-low class populations. The team envied the fact that Boston has so many Universities and Hospitals and  hoped our country Kenya will grow to a level of being able to have many hospitals and  health centers to enable accessibility of health care by our population.
The first meal the group had was really adapted to Kenyan dish and this gave us a nice transition. The team met Mike,Jacob, James,(Kenyan Students)Velina, Didi, Leane, Hannah,Sophia,MugooBoston members of AfyaNjema…to mention a few and shared about the flight experiences and the expectations of the trip. Everyone  the groupinteracted with was friendly  which made everyone comfortable and grateful. Travelling in the train was fun.
The Kenya team attended Neema PCEA in Lowell  withDr Mercy Kamau and Catherine Wachira (the founders of AfyaNjema Project.The church was fasting and praying for Kenya and families whose students passed away in Garissa, we felt consoled. The last Sunday on 27th April, 2014 we attended Christ Community Church which is interdenominational and it was very encouraging.

Dr Mercy Kamau, Family and AfyaNjema Faculty, Kenya Team

VISIT TO MUSEUM OF SCIENCE.
We not only viewed lots of things but gained insight on ongoing research in attempt to improve management of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and addressing  the challenge of  resistance of bacteria to antibiotics as well as minimizing infections in patients with prosthetic devices.

After that we went to BostonMarathon, though it was very cold .It’s really nice that those who were affected by the bomb last are given a chance for healing by taking part. A Kenyan lady won followed another lady from our neighbors from Ethiopia.

In the afternoon we visited one of the best malls, Macy’s Stores. Shops at Prudential Center, T.J Max were all amazing.

VISIT TO MUSEUM OFMEDICAL HISTORY AND INNOVATION.
The  group visited the  Medical Museum, the posters had a lot of information. We learnt on how to come up with a diagnosis among others. The group was  briefed  on first surgery when first  anesthesia was administered  to a dog then the surgeon inhaled  to test how long it would last. He then used it to remove  tooth from a person with his permission. He then called for a conference in theatre for all surgeons as he demonstrated  an abdominal operation under anesthesia.  The patient he had removed the tooth was also present as a witness that the anesthesia worked. It was a great innovation.
Theatre where first surgery with Anesthesiawas demonstrated- AfyaNjema Team Seated

Kenya Team  Seated(Right-Left):
Row 1:- Joyce W. Ngugi ;TonnyBrianMuthee; Janet N. Githinji
Row 2:- Prof. Anna K. Karani; Winnie W. Karuga; Simon M. Kanyingi;  Heshbon  M. Mwakavi
                                             

Winnie in front of photo of  The first Surgery using Anesthesia in the Museum

The team then visited the  Ether Dome  with current dummy for demonstration . Very good simulations were done  It is inspiring how the scientists were determined and moved  medical innovations  to the current state.
The Kenya team also made a visit to  Harvard Medical School and hospital.


Harvard Medical School –  AfyaNjema Kenya team photograph  

GLOBAL HEALTH CLASSES
It surprised us how the non communicable diseases are on rise in Kenya and other countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. There is urgent need to address this; and this needs combined efforts from both Ministries of health in these countries and International bodies.
It also came out from the presentation on Gender Related Issues that addressing Maternal Health will go far in contributing to achievement of all the other Millennium Development Goals.

VISITS TO HOSPITALS
Advanced technology was marked in the hospitals we visited among them Massachusetts General Hospital,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Peter and Bent Brigham Hospital where the first Kidney Transplant and Dialysis was done. In Dana-Farber, the Healing Garden was wonderful and together with music industry it helps patient to deal with psychological part of the illness.
In the hospitals patients are given free information pamphlets on “Your rights and responsibilities as a patient.”  It goes with no saying that nurses’ innovation in these contributes to better care to the patients.We also passed by the famous Harvard School of Medicine.

VISIT TO BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY.
It nice that students and everyone in Boston can access knowledge through e- library books and journals including hard copy books.

ROXBURY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Here the community has access to various exercise activities and recreation.This is one of the things we can borrow to help in preventing non communicable diseases in Kenya.

LECTURES AND SKILLS IN LABORATORY SESSIONS
The class on maternal health was good. Much resembled the way we are taught in our schools apart from assignments.
Session on assessment of systems was excellent. It improved the confidence of most of the students. Simulations are memorable. Demonstrations by Christine in the Trauma Unit and in skills lab increased our knowledge.
Review on the screening protocol was beneficial and we look forward into practicing this in our medical camps. In conclusion, this trip added to our knowledge, exposed us to a new culture; it was such a wonderful experience. We would like to highly appreciate Prof Eileen and the whole team for their efforts to make it successful.

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