This past month, three Tanzanian young people training to become healthcare professionals chose to spend their annual school holiday volunteering at FAME. We welcomed Lucy, studying Laboratory Sciences at Mvumi in Dodoma, Christina, studying to receive her diploma as a Pharmacy Tech at Muhimbili in Dar Es Salaam, and Abdul, studying to receive his degree as a Medical Doctor also at Muhimbili.
Lucy, soon to be Laboratory Tech
Lucy found FAME Medical after having grown up in Karatu. When she left to begin her training in laboratory sciences, she knew she would be spending her holiday home with her family and wanted the opportunity to get hands on experience in a laboratory for the first time. She had never been to FAME before, but she heard that our campus had one of the most advanced labs in the area. With only one year remaining in lab tech school, she wanted to gain practical knowledge to contribute to her studies. She spoke on how much she had learned in such a short time – learning how blood is tested and about parasitology. She was thankful for our staff – for taking the time to teach her, for their patience and for giving her a chance to really learn from the experience. As she heads into her final year of school, she’s excited about applying the knowledge she gained over her holiday at FAME!
Christina, soon to be Pharmacy Tech
Christina spent her time at FAME assisting in our pharmacy. She chose our hospital because it was close to her family home in Karatu and had the proper resources. She knew to get the best experience, she would need to be in a hospital that had a lot of medicine present in the clinic and FAME’s pharmacy was well stocked. As she finishes up her final year in school, she looks forward to finding a stable job to earn some money to support her future. After a few years working, she plans to return to school to upgrade from her diploma to a degree. She found FAME to be an ideal place to get practice before entering the workforce. She really enjoyed the staff she was working with, saying that they were incredibly friendly and willing to share information. They were always ready to teach her and provided explanations when she needed them. She said she learned a lot during her time in the pharmacy about medicine and about the lifestyles of people who pass through our clinic. Spending most of her time around students of her own age in school, she found it interesting to learn from adults and their experiences as her peers. She was very grateful for the opportunity to work with a knowledgeable staff in a pharmacy that had an adequate supply of medicine for her to learn about.
Abdul, soon to be Medical Doctor
Abdul also hails from Karatu and is the nephew of our Head Housekeeper. While growing up in Karatu, he saw the work FAME was doing and had dreamt of being a doctor in a hospital similar to ours. He’s currently heading into his fourth year of medical school, with two years of schooling and one year of internship to go before he receives his degree. He chose to use this holiday as an opportunity to learn. The hospital at Muhimbili, where he attends medical school, is a referral hospital where students see very complicated patients and many emergencies. Abdul was grateful for the opportunity to gain exposure to other aspects of medicine at FAME, particularly in the outpatient clinic, where he’s shadowing FAME doctors and learning how to interact with patients. Abdul had an added bonus during this time at FAME. He was chosen to be a translator for our biannual neurology clinic, getting to work with and learn from neurology residents and their attending. He spent two weeks assisting them in clinic, traveling with them on outreach, and learning how to examine a neuro patient. In clinic, he also got to see a patient with Parkinson’s for the very first time. He’s enjoyed working with the neurology team because he’s learning how this specialty can save lives and improve quality of life. As someone who loves to help people, Abdul admires the work FAME is doing and hopes to work in a hospital with a similar culture of philanthropy. He spoke very highly of FAME saying, “I’ve never seen a hospital like this. Regardless of one’s position (doctor, nurse, housekeeper or groundskeeper), they are all working hard to support the organization.” Additionally, Abdul said that upon arriving at FAME, he immediately felt like a part of the family. Like the other students, he found the hospitality and kindness of the staff to be one of the biggest takeaways from his time volunteering at FAME. He believes the work being done at FAME is very good for Tanzania and is excited to share what he’s learned here with his peers.
Thanks to our generous supporters, we have been able to build a medical facility and entire team of Tanzanian healthcare providers that are now serving to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals in this country. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll even see these young people back on the FAME campus one day.