The Elective Experience: Kenyatta National Hospital.  

The hospital is right behind the school of medicine.
I just want to start by saying; I’m happy I came to Nairobi and I’ll definitely come back. So help me God. 

Kenyatta is no Groote Schuur but it is great nonetheless. I was made to understand that it is the major referral hospital of most countries in Eastern Africa. Yes, that great. With such responsibility comes the problem of overcrowding which is the major problem I observed.

While there, I rotated through the General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery units for a period of two weeks each. I decided to attend more theatre sessions than ward rounds/clinics because who knows when I’ll be able to see those procedures as closely as I did and I didn’t regret my decision. I saw so many proceedures and assisted in some. This turned out to be a great learning experience. I’ve never been so stimulated to study my Bailey and Love. The proceedures of note that I observed were the Whipple’s proceedure (Pancreatoduodenectomy)  for cancer of the head of the pancreas and then the Mitral Valve Replacement  for Mitral Stenosis secondary to Rheumatic Fever – that went rouge which I wrote about. 

I assert again! This was a great learning experience. 

Asides the Hospital itself, The doctors were so nice, the students were so nice and contrary to the norm, the nurses were so nice! In actual fact, Kenyans are so nice! The doctors related with me (and their own students) like friends/colleagues not like where I come from where our teachers are more of oppressors than teachers! The nurses gave me their scrubs and scrub shoes without making me beg. Everybody cares to know if you’ve had Lunch and some tea. Even though I’m a student, I sat with consultants and residents to have tea with some rice and beans in the theatre tea room. It felt weird everyday. It felt as if they didn’t know I was a student. I can’t get over the niceness of the Kenyan people!
Outside the hospital;

-I got to attend a Rotary Event at the Nairobi club where I met so many people and ate a lot of good food. 

-I went to the Korogocho slum to see their primary health centres which seemed well to do enough. The roads in the Korogocho ‘slum’ were better than the ones in my Gbagada ‘estate’. 

-I went to have some Nyama Choma which is basically barbecue of cow Minced meat stuffed into cow intestines, cow heart and tongue and some cow bone soup. Lol. 

-I went for the Safaricom Jazz festival which was a new experience for me. I’m Jonathan Butler’s newest fan!

-I went shopping at the Kariaku Market where Local souvenirs are sold. Almost everything cost two arms and a leg. Art is expensive!

My Favourite Buy.
-Window shopping at the Junction mall then the most amazing Yoghurt ever and then Selma to crown it all

-I met so many people and made new friends who are so infatuated with Lagos because of what they see in Nollywood movies.  Many have promised to visit and I’ve promised to host. They have to see that there’s a place with worse Traffic than Nairobi. Everyone I met also tried to convince me to move to Nairobi! So nice!

-In my hostel, I also met so many many tourists and visitors like me from all parts of the world. Dinner time wasn’t always so cool because the tourists’ll be talking about all the cool stuff they did that day and I’ll just be there like; “The operating room was chilled today tho”. I also got to realise how oblivious I am about other people’s countries and cultures because when I tell people I’m from Nigeria, they’re always able to relate and have about a hundred and one questions to ask while I probably don’t know where their own country is on the map. I also learnt the art of punctuality. Because in the hostel, the meals were buffet and if you’re 2 minutes late, you can as well forget about it. It didn’t take me long to fix up. 

I’m happy for the experience and new friends and the memories but home is where the heart and the pepper is. I’ve had so much potato and ‘unspicy’ food  for the past month, I’m craving White House Amala and some party Jollof rice right now!! Can’t wait to get home. 


-Homesick ‘Kemi

PS: I had so much tea and coffee offers that I had tea with my Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I’m now a compulsive tea drinker. I hope to make it a habit. 

PPS: Unspicy is a kind word for bland. 

PPPS: My connecting flight to Lagos from Jo’Burg was moved by 24 hours so South African Airways was nice enough to put me up at the Protea with all this food. No pepper still, but I’m goooood! 😀


9 thoughts on “The Elective Experience: Kenyatta National Hospital.  

  1. I loved reading about your elective experiences Kemi. Nairobi sounded like so much fun. Hope the jollof and Amala was worth it 🙂

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