- Priyank Chandrakant Punatar, MD5
- Khatib Sh. Khatib, MD 3
- Aisia Nicholaus Mero MD2
- Natasha Said Ali, MD1
- Give a short narration about yourself
I am Priyank Chandrakant Punatar, a Tanzanian by nationality and heart,with an Indian ethnic origin. I am a self motivated focused individual who aspires to live a life driven by universal moral values and principles that govern acceptable behaviour in line with my profession I completed my high school at Aga Khan Mzizima Secondary School. . I have just completed Doctor of Medicine Program in 2014 at Huebert Kairuki Memorial University. In my school life I have been able to register a number of achievements in both academic and extra curricular activities and was fortunate to have been elected Head Boy in both primary and secondary school. I take interest in creative writing and sports.
- Why did you decide to study medicine?
Well, the reason that triggered this decision was my potential and interest in Biology at high school and my ambitions to go for an academic and professional career that is trying, challenging and interesting. I love thrills and challenges that energize my desires. I also have the wish to be of service to community at large and this profession will give me ample opportunity to do that. I also believe in the local system of education at the medical schools originating in Tanzania due to rigour of their syllabi and system of teaching and practical experience.
- How did you feel when you got “Team Tanzania Scholar Award”? How did it help you or your family?
I felt privileged and honoured to have been given this awarded while at the same time it has given me confidence in my potential and competencies. To be recognized and stand out from others is always motivating and give self-satisfaction that you tapped your potential. I have also together with this acquired the award for a Valedictorian Student for the 5 years study of Doctor of Medicine which recognizes someone who standards first in all the five years of the course. To my family the award was not just money but a recognition for their son which made them very proud. The money from the award will help me buy medical equipment that I will need during my internship and future practice. This award was not in place when I was in year I – III otherwise would also have qualified for the same.
- What do you think should be done to improve the selection and presentation of the “Team Tanzania Scholar Award”?
First thing is that not a lot of people outside the community of the medical schools know about this onerous gesture by Tanzanians living in the USA so if the purpose allows then there is need for communication to be done using public media. Secondly the criteria for selection is currently academic excellence in the year of study which I think is fair as adding any other parameter for evaluation may conflict with the purpose of awarded academic excellence.
- If you faced two challenges you faced while studying at HKMU, what would they be?
I can recommend areas for change and improvement.
- They should look into implementing modern pedagogy for teaching using interactive approach to develop confidence in the student with regard to the knowledge gained and its application.
- Improved monitoring and supervision together with support in year four and five of the study program where application of theoretical knowledge is key.
- Flexibility of learning by implementing some modules through e-learning. Student workshops.
- Introduce soft skills development in areas like presentation and communication
- What do you want to do after graduating medical school / if you have graduated, what have you been doing since graduation?
As mentioned above I graduated this year and since October 2014 I am doing my internship at Muhimibili Hospital and getting very good experience since I joined. I have completed internship in the Paediatrics Ward, Now completing the same in the Psychiatry division and moving to internal medicine from 2/2/2015. I will be completing internship on 30/9/2015.
- Please write a few words to thank people who donated to Maendeleo, and thus made the Team Tanzania Scholar Award possible.
I acknowledge with thanks and great appreciation the award given to me for excelling in academic study in year five of Doctor of Medicine. I also would like to commend the gesture extended by my fellow nationals who live in the USA to encourage academic study in our noble profession. Very few people in the world are able to share what they earn with others whom they do not even know. I would love to meet with some of these people even through the social media if their identity can be disclosed and known so as to take the relationship further.
My name is Khatib Sh. Khatib, from Zanzibar- Tanzania. I am 37 years old now. I started my primary education in 1986 at Kinyasini Primary School in Pemba. In 1996 I joined Fidel Castro Secondary School in Pemba where I completed my A level education in 2000. I then joined the College of Health Sciences at Mbweni Zanzibar where I got my Diploma in Clinical Medicine. I was employed by Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as Clinical Officer in 2004.
I worked for six years before I decided to join Hubert Kairuki Memorial University in 2011. I became interested in Medicine since I was in primary school, where some Health Officers came to our school to talk to us about keeping ourselves clean, washing our hands after using toilets, keeping our nails and hair short, and they were giving us some pills for reasons I didn’t understand, but I kept wondering how they knew all these stuffs. I looked at them as most gifted and talented people in the world. From there, becoming a doctor, helping and educating people about diseases was a dream of my life and that’s why I decided to study Medicine.
Being announced as an Awardee, before tens to hundreds of people, shaking hands with high profile honourable figures like HKMU Chancellor, Dr. Salim Amed Salim was really an honour, and to this date I am writing this letter, I still feel great. It really helped me, I most of the time since then feel eager to read and read and read. It really changed my momentum and took me to a new high energy level and most of the time I feel energetic on reading. It’s an honour to my family too. Since then my family has been so supportive and tolerant about me and infact, all my family feel proud of me especially my parents and wife who since then keep on telling me, “You can”, something which absolutely keeps me moving.
Selection and presentation of “Team Tanzania Scholar Award” to me, it’s quite great well done.
One major challenge, I have been facing at HKMU is studying with mates fresh from school and still in very young ages. They hardly take your contribution during studying and advice. Second one is staying out of campus. This makes me miss a lot of important group discussions, experiences and moments of fun with colleges.
My plan is to go for a specialty as soon as possible after graduation, hopefully a year after my internship. I dream of becoming Pediatrician and help improve child health in Tanzania. I like teaching too, so becoming a lecturer in Pediatrics and child health, is in my plan as well.
I might have no good words to say to “MAENDELEO” group who donate the prizes but all what I can say is “Thank you a lot” for making the “Team Tanzania Awards” possible, you have honoured us, you have changed our lives for the better and above all, you have made us write history in our medical Carrier for our names shall be remembered. Thank you very much for all these. Lastly, I would like to quote a wise saying which I always read from one of HKMU walls which says” There is no limit to the goods you can do in this World, if You don’t care who gets credit”
Thank you very much for your donations.
My name is AISIA NICHOLAS MERO, 2nd year Medical Doctor student at HUBERT KAIRUKI MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY.
I am very glad to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude upon receiving my gift from your organization after being the best student in my class in the academic year 2013/2014.
The gift has a great positive impact in my academic life since it has made me to realize my capabilities and motivate me to struggle more in achieving higher goals.
Some of it has also helped me to purchase some medical books as well as medical equipments for my carrier. I would like to share a short history of my education background.
Before joining the university I was a qualified clinical officer working at one of the dispensaries in country. When I was practicing as a clinical officer, I faced a lot of challenges, one among them was people of my society suffering a lot with some medical problems and due to a little knowledge I had, I couldn’t help them to fullest, so I felt motivated and challenged to seek for further studies to upgrade my knowledge.
Furthermore, the scarcity of medical personnel’s in my country forced me to study medicine to add medical human resources on helping my society.
My aim is to become the best doctor in my society and to help people of my country regarding their medical problems; Also I would like to pursue MASTERS IN PEADIATRICS after completing my degree of medicine so that I can be able to stand in the best position of providing services in the area of my specialty.
My full name is Natasha Said Ali; I was born on the 6th of June 1994, in the magnificent spice islands of Zanzibar. I am the only girl in a family of 7 boys and blessed with many bounties including having both my parents alive. Throughout my journey, I have attended various schools in Zanzibar town before joining Al-Muntazir girl’s primary school and later on, Feza Girl’s secondary and high school for both my O and A level education in Dar-es-salaam.
It is a very weird fact that medical school or being a doctor was not my first choice of career, thus I actually did not decide to take medicine. By the time I finished high school I had a rough idea of who I want to be, but the career I was to embark on was merely just a tool to me, and still is. Life took me through a great passion of international law and international relations, a big interest and fascination in economics, the urge to unleash creativity in architecture however despite all that medicine chose me, not the other way around and the first year had just been a pick behind the curtain of destiny. It has enabled me to unleash so much in and outside me, surprise myself, but most of all, work and study with a free spirit because I had nothing to lose. This allowed me to embark on many extracurricular activities like scientific presentations, Continuous Medical Education (CME’s) and also volunteer work. Every moment felt like a de-ja-vu pointing to the fact that the right and wrong turns from plans are all a part of a well orchestrated destiny and this award has just been just the cherry on top of the cake. I can say and see that there is always a picture and vision greater than what my naïve young mind can perceive, thus I will never cease to dream and have great passion to serve humanity and make a contribution to global health but most of all, add a my thumb print to the elixir of immortality, the ever-growing pool of knowledge.
It felt really awesome and amazing to have been chosen for this award, I could never be happier or more humbled. My family, especially my dad was very happy at the news, even happier than I was, I guess it’s in every fathers DNA to be happy and proud of their children’s achievement. Therefore, even if i may not be the one writing this next year, I will be at ease knowing that I had seen such happiness in him, thus another, more deserving student can get to experience the same. Happiness is never to be divided but always to be shared, even in the survival of the fittest world of today.
The Maendeleo Team Tanzania Scholar Award is great motivation for many students especially those who have great passion in their careers, future and keen on building themselves a good academic profile. If I had to make any changes, I would just wish that there were other arenas that such awards were given such as scientific competitions, researches, student volunteer works and community based projects and other extracurricular as far as the medical field is concerned. There is more to accomplishments in academics than just a gold star in the report card, just like a 2000 plus SAT score is just a single indicator of smartness and intelligence among many aspects of it.
The first year has been great indeed; I must admit that HKMU and generally studying university at home did exceed most of my expectations. I have not faced heart breaking challenges but a few little ones that may include time management because medical school is very demanding and the limited infrastructure with respect to the number of students could not allow classes to end early, thus at least twice a week laboratory sessions did go a bit into the night. Funds to run extracurricular activities had also been a bit of a trouble most of the times thus; mostly life was strict business and very less healthy academic fun activities. Others wise, all other challenges of being a student remained same like time management, being up-to-date academically and still keeping track of what is going on at home and other social proceedings and activities.
When I had decided to attend to medical school, I was very much interested in cardiology; however I have decided to remain neutral for now so that I can have an unbiased view of all the available fields of specializations, when what is exactly meant for and is good for me comes, I shall know. As Steve Jobs stated,” our work will occupy a big part of our lives, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what we believe is great work.” Since it’s still a matter of the heart, I will know when I find it. Despite all of the above I feel deeply interested in public health and I love the adrenaline of emergency medicine, however, second year is too early to make a clear-cut decision.
Lastly, I would like to extend a hand of thanks to the organizers of these awards for I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for this and many more that you have done for your country. As F.Dostoyevsky stated “it is not the brains that matter, but that which guides them, the character, the heart, generous qualities, and progressive ideas”. This award is to me, a sign of your hearts and generous qualities and I could not be any more thankful for that. Being on the lower/ receiving hand of this award, loaded with so much happiness and gratitude has been a motivation enough for me to work harder in order to be on the giving end. This is because I know, for a fact that it is more satisfying and breathtaking to see the fruits of your own hard work, manifest into life full smiles of the youth of your own brotherhood and great nation, Tanzania. May the lord almighty bless you all with abundance especially knowledge that will benefit you and lives that will give you self-satisfaction