McMaster University

McMaster University

Macha Mission Hospital, Zambia, 2015

By Katie Chong, Level 4 BScN, McMaster University

Published: March 30, 2016

My Global Health Practice Experience was on the Pediatrics Ward at the Macha Mission Hospital in Zambia.

This experience changed me as nurse and as a person. Not only was I able to gain an understanding of this population from a clinical perspective, but I was able to immerse myself into the culture of the village of Macha, and begin to understand how this shaped the population’s health as well as their healthcare.

Clinically, I was able to care for children and infants with a wide variety of conditions, including Malnutrition, Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, Burns, Congestive Cardiac Failure, Sickle Cell Anemia, Fractures, HIV/AIDs, Gastroenteritis, Dehydration, Meningitis, Epilepsy, Congenital Deformities, Spina Bifida, Sepsis, and many others.

Furthermore, this setting is resource-limited and this was an important part of the learning process and clinical skills development.

I had the opportunity to live among Zambian nursing students, and the friendships that I formed here were an integral part of my learning. During my term in Macha, I felt like I became part of a family. I established relationships with community members within and outside of the hospital that I will never forget.

I feel extremely lucky to have been able to work and play alongside the people of Macha, and through this I learned a great deal about myself. 

I experienced excitement, joy, grief, beauty, inspiration, and many challenges throughout my placement.

Living with, becoming a part of, and beginning to understand the culture of Macha was worth the time, effort, and expense.

If you are a student who is ready and open to learning about and embracing this wonderful community and the people in it, who is looking for a physical, intellectual, and moral challenge, and who is passionate about global health, then I hope you will consider a term in Macha.

Curious to learn more? Read about other previous Global Health Practice Experiences

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