SCSK 525 A Practical Experience in Tropical Medicine in Kenya

Calum Macpherson, PhD

This selective provides a practical field based introduction to tropical medicine in an East African cultural context.

The annual selective runs for 2 weeks and is open to all MD and DVM students. The selective, which has run continuously since 2009, provides opportunities to shadow local consultants, conducting rounds in a wide range of clinical specialties in district and provincial hospital settings. Visits to orphanages, historical sites, animal sanctuaries and cultural and scenic areas make for a comprehensive experience in East Africa. Time is spent in remote rural areas with the nomadic pastoral Masai people where “One Health” comes into sharp focus. The people live on the milk and blood from their livestock which are heavily dependent on the environment. All aspects of medical and veterinary medicine, public health, and climate change can be debated in this fast disappearing and unique way of life. The selective culminates with a flight to the world famous Masai Mara game reserve where the greatest concentrations of  African wildlife are to be found. Here two nights are spent  in a luxury tented camp and one can learn about  wildlife, domestic animal, and human interface. The selective is run by Cal Macpherson who spent more than 30 years in East Africa including 10 years with the Flying Doctors (AMREF), which is today one of the largest NGOs in Africa. He has spent over 10 years working with nomadic populations in East Africa and in many other parts of the world.