Passion to Heal – Dermatology volunteering in the Maasai Mara, Kenya
During summer of 2018, ME to WE organized a dermatology volunteer trip in Masai Mara region of Kenya. Our volunteer group included physicians, physician assistants and medical assistants. We volunteered at the Baraka Hospital along with the local staff there. Our goal was to help treat and triage patients with skin conditions and in the process educate local staff about Dermatology. We saw patients with a variety of skin conditions, including Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Chromoblastomycosis, Discoid Lupus and others. In addition, we visited local schools to screen students with common skin conditions. We saw approximately 800-100 patients during our time there. On our last day at the hospital we organized lectures to teach the local team about common skin conditions. The key challenges to our work there were limited resources and time available, socio-economic difficulties of the local population, lack of an established dermato-pathology center, etc. The key strengths of the trip were very well organized trip from ticketing to lodging to itinerary, very supportive local staff and how grateful patients were with evaluation of their conditions. Our trip also included local cultural programs that allowed us to learn more about the people there. In a short span of one week, we were able to help in the care of the local patient population and in the process learn about local culture, socio-economic structure and medical practice there.
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