Written by Alexandra Miller, M.D.'18 In large, bold type on page nine of my Swahili medical dictionary and phrasebook is written “Bora kinga kuliko tiba,” which translates to “prevention is better than cure.” Although this is a common phrase in English, we forget that for some diseases there is no cure. Cervical cancer is often diagnosed beyond a curable stage in resource-limited settings, despite being a preventable disease.
Written by Anne Dougherty, M.D.'09
Today, I want to tell you a story about a girl named, Gladyness. I met Gladyness when she was eight years-old. I was between my first and second year of medical school and had finagled my way into working in a small rural primary care clinic in Kasese, Uganda on the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Written by Dr. Samuel Luboga
Collaboration in home activities promotes bonding among family members. This idea is reflected in the Swahili saying, Suku mbili mugeni. Suku ya tatu mupa jembe. “For two days a guest is regarded as a visitor and is waited upon, however on the third day he is given a hoe to participate in the work (digging) the family does for a living.” Essentially, this means that s/he has become a member of the family.
Written by Julia Shatten '18
We flip the sheet over that we used for this patient in preparation for the next, a five year -old boy with a foreign body in the eye. He is too scared to lay down, so he sits playing with a toy piano on the operating table as the anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia. She catches him just in time, and lays him back. The rest of the operations that day were a blur.
By Anne Dougherty, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and founder and director of the UVM Global Women’s Health Education Program
Let me tell you a story about Happyness. Happyness is a young woman living in rural Nakaseke district about sixty miles outside Kampala, Uganda’s capital. She just had her second baby who was born premature, and will likely not survive to his fifth birthday. This pregnancy was conceived eight months after her last delivery, though we know that rapid repeat pregnancy, those conceived less than twenty-four months following a delivery, have dire consequences for both mother and baby.