It’s our last week in Rwanda and our research study here has largely been a success. Our study is entitled Preparing Mothers for Breastfeeding: A Survey of the Information Provided to Mothers on Best Breastfeeding Practices. Thus far, we have surveyed over 200 new mothers at the University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) about what has been recommended to them regarding breastfeeding and what they are practicing. We have also surveyed some healthcare personnel about what recommendations they are giving to new mothers. We hired translators who have been very helpful for communicating with mothers in the local language, Kinyarwanda.
During our non-reserach days, we volunteer in the surgery department at CHUK assisting on general surgery and neurosurgery cases. We attend morning rounds at 7:10 to learn about the cases for the day. While there, we are able to apply the information that we learned during our first year of medical school. After morning rounds, we scrub into our first surgery of the day around 9:30 AM and continue until 5PM. Surgery days can be exhausting, but they are so rewarding.
Outside of the hospital, Rwanda has been a phenomenal experience. We chose to live with a Rwandan host family, and as a result, we have gained an appreciation for Rwandan culture and people that is life-changing. We have attended family events with our host family such as a baby shower, a holiday feast, and even a wedding. They have helped us to integrate into Rwandan society and as a result of them, we have fallen in love with the country. We both want to do an extended stay in Rwanda again, hopefully as full-fledged physicians.
– Ceshae Harding & Cherise Green