||Wellcome Trust Research Laboratories
of site institution (3-4 words):
||Hospital; Clinical and basic science research facilities
a language requirement? If so, state language:
||NO (Swahili would be really helpful, but is not at all
public/community health research
basic science research
- Please describe your activities while abroad (eg, seeing
patients, clinical research, public health project, etc.):
My research developed after I arrived in Kilifi, and consisted
of two clinical projects focusing on children with malnutrition.
In order to fulfill the Scholarly Pursuit requirements,
I worked with a physician in Kenya and was under loose supervision
by a physician from CHOP. I collected a lot of data and
hopefully will be able to put together a couple of papers
for publication. In addition to my research projects, I
also participated in daily rounds and clinical work on the
pediatrics ward, and attended lectures on a variety of clinical
and scientific topics. Outside of the hospital, I was able
to accompany fieldworkers on their data-gathering trips
to more remote areas of the District as well as explore
East Africa on my own.
- Please describe the range of activities available,
in addition to yours:
The hospital has a very strong immunology lab, which is
conducting a lot of research on malaria - specifically,
working on producing a vaccine. There are also microbiology
and hematology labs. There is an opportunity to learn Swahili
from a one-on-one instructor.
- Would you recommend this institution to other Penn
medical students? Why?
Definitely. The Wellcome Trust provides an infrastructure
of equipment (computers, labs, medical records, etc.) and
people (physicians, researchers, other students) that made
living and working there relatively easy. On the other hand,
the population and setting are typical for rural, poverty-ridden
- What did you not like?
Computer shortages - having my own laptop would have been
great. Also, because I didn't have a car and was in a rural
area, I felt a little restricted. On the other hand, the
public matatus go almost everywhere, so if you're willing
to be really scrunched and deal with some interesting odors,
transportation isn't too much of a problem.
- Is there an application process for this institution?
How does one arrange a visit? Are there important dates
to know about?
Mike English. A lot of medical students from the UK
rotate through the hospital, so he's a bit overwhelmed with
student planning - be persistent, and don't worry if the
project doesn't seem entirely clear before you go. There's
a lot going on and you will definitely find something to
do if you're assertive and moderately independent.
- What costs were associated with the trip, other than
transportation. Please include institutional fees, housing
costs, food, etc.:
I paid $100 per month to live in a lovely bungalow
that a student who was already working in one of the labs
was living in. If that house is full, there are some small
hotels that would be more expensive and don't have kitchens
but do have the bonus of an on-site restaurant. I also had
to pay for my own food, which was very cheap! There were
no institutional fees.
- Did you receive funding for this trip? If so, from
whom and for how much? Please provide important information,
such as contacts, application procedure, and due dates:
I received funding from the Africa Health Group. The
contact is Dr. Jeff Silverberg in the International Opportunities
Office. The application consisted of a write-up of a project
(mine ended up being completely unrelated to the project
that I actually did - in fact, I was originally planning
to go to Zimbabwe). I believe the application was due at
the end of January.
- Would you agree to be contacted by other students interested
in this site? If so, please give your name and contact information:
Phone: (267) 879-1371
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