By Monica Polcz
As I reflect during my final days in Kijabe, I realize that this experience has both solidified my confidence in what I know and also highlighted areas that I am continuing to learn. On my first day in clinic, between 5 clinic rooms, we saw 150 patients. The variation in pathology extended the entire breadth of general surgery, most of which I had seen before.
By Jon Niconchuk
Jambo from Kenya! After barely escaping a rare Nashville snow storm and back to back 8 hour flights, we arrived safely in Nairobi (well, two of the three of us at least; our final companion missed a connection and made it the next morning.) Despite having been here once before, the drive down the hill into Kijabe was just as breathtaking. This idyllic oasis, this “place of the wind” nestled on the mountainside overlooking the ever-widening Great Rift Valley, remains as aesthetically beautiful as ever. With our comfortable guest house and nightly dinners waiting in the fridge, it is easy to lose sight of the reality of ever-present scarcity that exists all around. Yet as familiar faces welcomed me back to the operating theaters on Monday morning, I was reminded why AIC Kijabe Hospital – built from nothing over the past century – remains such a remarkable place. On our second morning in the ORs, one of the surgeons approached us hurriedly and said, “Dr. Jon, please go to the emergency ward, there has been a mass casualty.”
By Monica Polcz
A couple of months before I arrived in Kenya, my home institution switched their electronic medical record from Starpanel to Epic. To give a little background, I knew Starpanel. I was efficient at Starpanel. Starpanel was my friend, and Epic was an outsider. I found myself very clever in deeming the transition an "Epic" fail to anyone who would listen weeks before its rollout. Subsequently, on transition day, I felt unsurprised at the almost apocalyptic scene and hospital-wide confusion that ensued. It felt as if I didn't know how to do anything on this new system, but I found some satisfaction in blaming the yellow-vest wearing support team, or "yellow jackets" as we colloquially called them, as well as Epic itself for hindering the efficiency of patient care. It certainly wasn't my fault. I was already halfway through residency and I was efficient. I was confident!
For decades, global health has been a core part of American foreign policy. Through supporting the well-being of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, it is clear that America embraces generosity through its role as an international superpower. However, these acts should not be solely regarded as magnanimous or altruistic. Grappling with the health of global populations has crucial benefits for American interests.
For more than a year we have been analyzing the issue of childhood nutrition (along with a large number of other topics that go into the post-2015 discussion). Nutrition is obviously one of the most critical issues for development. Both children and adults need a good quality diet, but, like others in this field, we have come to believe that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – from conception to age two – are vital for proper development.

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