The Impact of the USAID Education and Research Center

June 3, 2016

By, Aaron Stroud-Romero, OneWorld Health’s East Africa Director

The Education and Research Center is one of two new facilities at the Masindi Kitara Medical Center (MKMC) funded by USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA). The Diagnostic and Imaging Center is nearly complete, but the education building is complete and is already making a big impact.

This structure houses our new medical library and computer lab, a large public health education hall, a guesthouse for international students and medical professionals, as well as administrative offices and a conference room. The education hall is already well utilized by our nursing and maternity staff for providing antenatal and immunization services to groups of mothers and babies several days per week, as well as other educational sessions provided by our public health team. Dr. Godson, our Medical Officer, believes this has been a great addition to our campus, stating, “We had outgrown the space we used for antenatal and immunization services, so this hall will help increase services that the community needs.” In addition, we have started using the space for our weekly continuing medical education (CME) sessions for staff. This dedicated space gives us the ability to dive into specific cases and issues with more privacy and really take time to engage and learn from each other.

Along with the dedicated space for public health, Dr. Godson is very excited about the opportunity for staff to continue to increase their knowledge with the resources in the library and computer lab. “It is critical for doctors, as well as other medical professionals, to continue to read and learn in order to improve their knowledge and better serve patients,” said Dr. Godson, who has set the bar for learning high – if he is not busy seeing a patient or conducting a surgery you can almost guarantee you will find him in the library studying. While our collection is still relatively small, plans are underway to vastly increase the volume of books and journals available. OneWorld Health

MKMC is quickly becoming an educational center. At the same time that staff are busy furthering their own knowledge and skills, we are continuing to grow partnerships to support the training and education of other medical professionals. Since January we have had a nearly constant rotation of students spending a month long rotation with us. Working under the leadership of Dr. Godson, we have hosted medical students from the University of Melbourne and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), pharmacy students from the University of South Carolina and Wilkes University, PA students from MUSC and South Sudan, along with an OBGYN resident and a PhD student working with our midwives to improve maternity services. The addition of the guesthouse will allow these partnerships to grow even further, by both making a rotation more affordable to students and giving them access to emergency cases in the evenings and at night. Dr. Godson believes this is a huge blessing to us, “emergency night cases can be some of the most educational, but it is incredibly challenging when students have stayed further away. Coordinating both our medical staff and students to get here at night is too difficult and often we would go ahead with a procedure without them. Now we just send someone to knock on their door and they can be here in just a few minutes.”

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