KCMCollege 2016

My name is Alex Patrick Sanga. I am the first born in the peasantry family of five children, being the first born means a lot in most of African societies including my society of Kingas in the southern highlands of Tanzania. As a young child, from the non-educated family, I was really almost non-directional of what can be done in life, I started my primary education under very hard conditions, I fell sick for 9months, so in my first class I had lessons only for 3months. My teachers had known me very well in just that very short period of time, I continued with my studies up to standard four. This was the very crucial time for me, it is the time when my dream of becoming a Doctor came up, my standard four English teacher asked me, what do I want to be in the future, my answer was a Doctor. Much inspiration was from the doctors in the near home hospital, whom I saw in my standard one year, when I visited the hospital much more frequently because of the sickness I had. A doctor seemed to me, as someone any society shouldn’t miss to save peoples’ lives. From then, as I continued with my studies had the objective of becoming a doctor and save my kinsmen.

Luckily that I was performing well at school, my parents were very happy for that, I reached standard seven in which I had to perform the last national examination, passing the examination meant nurturing the dream of becoming a Doctor, thanks to God, I passed well, but my parents had no money to send me to secondary school. Thanks a lot to my deacon uncle who then indulged to finance me in every aspect of my secondary education. I completed my O-level studies with a good pass mark, went to high school taking Physics, chemistry and biology (PCB), from which someone can study medicine, but currently being completely financed by my uncle, I had to listen to him for whichever the advice he gave, he wanted me to be an engineer and so I was supposed to study physics, chemistry and pure mathematics (PCM), I rejected that, continued with my PCB and passed very well in the final examinations.

I had a new challenge soon after the university higher education students’ loans board cancelled my name from benefiting the stipend. My uncle couldn’t afford to pay for the university tuition fee, thanks to the ministry of health and social welfare of Tanzania for giving me a grant to study medicine for its own costs, though that needs me to serve in the country for at least five years before I can decide wherever else I can serve.

As Aim writing this appreciation letter, have already completed my undergraduate medical studies, currently doing my internship at this very same place Kilimanjaro Christian Medical center. Thanks to God that my dream has come into reality .It’s time now to serve the Tanzanians especially the in need poor societies in the remote areas of our country like Tandala, the village I was born and grew up.

This award is really a joyful present to me, worth of great value into my life. This is going to help me purchase some of the missing working apparatuses like handy otoscope for easy clinical evaluation of my patients as I serve them, the rest will be spent on my own apartments’ needs.  Thanks a lot to Maendeleo award initiative; this is really motivating especially for the ongoing students to work hard, have aprivilege for such a tremendous award, but also producing good, well knowledged doctors for our country.

It is my wish to continue with my post graduate medical studies soon after my internship, I am looking for the scholarships in either internal medicine or orthopaedics. These are specialties of which I think need more personnel in our country as most vulnerable poor people are not met with the specialties’ services right from their living places. I continue working hard as it’s my character and motive, praying heartily for God’s sake my rest part of the dream get fulfilled.

I am Mabula Mussa Mabelele, a firstborn in a family of four children. I was born and raised in Mwanza , Tanzania. I attended primary school, and then joined Buswelu secondary school for my o-level studies. I completed my A- level studies at Tabora Boys’ secondary school in 2013. I later joined the Kilimanjaro Christian medical university college (KCMUCo) where I am studying medicine.

I am currently in my fourth year doing clinical sciences. In the past three years of Medical school I have studied basic sciences for two years and clinical sciences for one year. Now I am in my forth year doing clinical rotations in various departments. So far I have been to the Ear, nose and throat (ENT) and Dermatology departments. This has been a great experience for me. I have gotten to see patients with various conditions and played a significant role in their treatment. ENT is so fascinating, it has a good mixture of pediatrics, surgery and a great deal of medicine as well. I never thought of ENT – head and neck surgery for my medical career, but now that thought has crossed my mind. I still have almost two years of med school before I accomplish my dream and be a doctor.

I have always wanted to be a doctor since was child. I always wanted to help people get well, and with my passion and enthusiasm for sciences, medicine felt like a great opportunity for me. Through medicine I would get to help people get better as well as enjoy the science that drives it. So far I have enjoyed this tough ride and I encourage any other person aspiring to be a doctor to join this noble profession.

This November I received a call informing me that I was among the Team Tanzania Scholar’s Awardees for being the overall best performer for academic year 2015/2016. I was very happy and grateful for winning this award for the second consecutive time. I feel honored and blessed by this award and I would like to thank Maendeleo for providing this award. This award serves great deal in motivating medical students to strive for academic excellence by showing that their efforts are appreciated.

I sincerely thank everyone, who by any means has contributed in making this award and many other Maendeleo projects possible. I assure you that your effort are not in vain, they are cherished and appreciated by medical students and the millions of patients who will benefit from this initiative. I believe there is room for improvement to this award; giving scholarship opportunities to awardees and helping awardees in their career endeavors after they have graduated would be nice.  Also tracking graduates and involving them in activities such as inspiring other students and mentorship would be a good thing. Importantly, In Tanzania we face challenges in accessing learning materials, few qualified instructors and I’d be glad if Maendeleo addressed these challenges as well.

By 2018 I will be graduating from medical school. I will do one year internship program and go on to practice medicine. I plan to involve myself in community medicine programs during my practice. I also hope that one day I will study Pediatric oncology and play my part in helping these innocent children suffering from cancers.

I can’t thank you enough for the award and for appreciating efforts made by medical students in their studies. I pray that you continue with this project knowing you are appreciated. God bless you.

My name is Ahimbisibwe Joan. My introduction is going to seem familiar since I have been blessed twice to receive this award. Some parts of this letter will be similar to my previous letter, because I am the same person, but some will be different. I am a Ugandan by nationality. I am the seventh of eight children. As a child my dream was to be a lawyer just like my dad. But when I was about six, I started to interact much with my pediatrician. Being asthmatic, that meant a lot more visits. This lady was my inspiration. She portrayed medicine in a way no one else had. She was extremely caring and even as a six year old I could tell she enjoyed what she was doing. I don’t know if it was her motherliness or her knowledge of pediatrics or a combination of the two that made her that way. Whichever it was, this lady became my inspiration.

From then onwards, I got the desire to be like her, to be a pediatrician. It was not a secret. All my siblings and my parents knew that I want to be a pediatrician. Along the course of studies, year after year my dream did not change. I kept the good grades, excelling at my P.L.E and U.C.E.  In my A levels however, I started to get afraid. I started to wonder if I could handle medicine. See sciences in A level weren’t exactly a walk in the park. Being the only child out of eight at the time to take a science combination. The only person in an arts oriented clan aspiring to be a doctor. I think this negative energy had an impact on my academics as I did not excel in my A level finals. I missed a place in the top Universities back home. For a moment there I almost gave up on the carrier path of medicine.

My parents, however, did not give up. I decided to apply for accounting in Makerere University and I had started my course. As mathematics too was a love of mine. My dad kept insisting that I apply elsewhere. He was not contented with me doing accounting. So with his guidance and persistence I applied in almost all Universities in East Africa for medicine. I got accepted into KCMC, which was a blessing I could not see at the time. But it has come to be a decision I will never regret. The fact that I almost missed my dream course gave me the zeal to work even harder. I didn’t know much about the MAENDELEO team scholar award until I was blessed and honored to receive it as best overall MD1 student 2014/2015, that was a stepping stone. I have been able to join other medical student organizations like TAMSA. I had motivation from my first year to work even harder. The award in my first year made me happy, but it made my parents even happier. I had the motivation to make my parents even happier. And this year I have been blessed again to receive the award as best overall MD2 student 2015/2016.

I had never seen this kind of thing. Yes people have always been awarded for good performance, but this is different. This is more than an award. This is a motivation for students. It is a good thing. When someone works hard and they are rewarded, it motivates them. But I think it motivates others even more. The numbers of students who are motivated by this organization are more than we think. And this motivation is what will make students work even harder, and love what they are working for even more. And I believe you have noticed as well, those who are awarded struggle to maintain their position with hard work and determination.

As I have just received the award today, I have not yet decided what I will do with the money. Frankly speaking, I will keep it in the bank till I decide. It needs time to get something purposeful to dedicate income to. Whether it will be added to my daily expenses here at school, or acquisition of items for my school and class needs, whether it will be my first investment for the future, time will tell. I am well aware that it is from people’s sacrifices that such awards come and therefore I don’t intend to take it for granted.

I think the selection and presentation of the Team Scholar Award is okay. I am extremely happy to note that the nursing course has been added. It was my previous suggestion that more medical courses get involved as well, and I am extremely happy that it has come to pass. I will be happy if more courses will be added as well.

My challenges are the same as any other foreign student, new language and new environment. Which I am glad I have been able to adjust to.

Like I mentioned before, I would like to do a residency program in pediatrics after graduating. I would love to be a Pediatrician.

I am forever grateful to MAENDELEO. I think they are doing something beautiful, promoting medical excellence. May the good Lord bless your endeavors.

a) A short narration about myself
My name is Meghna Vipulkumar  Solanki. I am 20 years old ,currently a second year medical student at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUCo). I am a Tanzanian by nationality and Indian by ethnicity. I was born in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania and am the first born in a family of 2 children. I completed my secondary school education at Shaaban Robert secondary school. During the course of my academic career, I have received many awards as well as scholarships. Having been among the top 3 female students in science in NECTA examinations in the country , I have been privileged to receive a 5 year scholarship from the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) for pursuing my medical career. I’m truly grateful for that. Apart from academics, I have interest in sports especially football and tennis.

b) Decision to study medicine
To be honest, it had been my grandfather’s dream to be a medical doctor however due to financial reasons, it was not possible for him to do so. In one way, I have always wanted to fulfill his dream but that’s not the only reason why I want to pursue medicine. The field of medicine itself is intellectually rewarding and science has always been my passion. Being a doctor isn’t a 9 to 5 job or something taken lightly. It is challenging, interesting, demanding but also noble and impacting profession. Knowing that after finishing med school, I will be able to give back to the community as much as it has given me, making a difference by helping people, impacting their lives positively in terms of health care, is a feeling that is truly satisfying. But all in all, medicine to me is a field of knowledge and constant learning, after all a doctor never stops being  a student.

c) How did you feel when you got “Team Tanzania Scholar Award”? How did it help you or your family?
First of all, I would sincerely like to thank Maendeleo for this award. I feel greatly honoured and privileged for this recognition. To my family, it’s a moment of pride and joy. The feeling of being appreciated, for all the hard work you put in and the sleepless nights you encounter in the process, is truly worth it. The money will allow me to buy books and equipment which I will be needing in the later years of my medical school.

d) What do you think should be done to improve the selection and presentation of the “Team Tanzania Scholar Award”?
Well, honestly I had no idea of such award until I was told about it through the Dean of students. Maendeleo Team Tanzania Scholar Award is a great motivation to all the students who work tirelessly to achieve their dreams. More awareness should definitely be raised on this award especially through media. The selection criteria for this award is academic excellence which I think is fine.

e) If you were to mention two major challenges you faced while studying at KCMUCo, what would they be?
KCMUCo for me is the best university in the country. Whether you talk about technology or teaching, it’s been the best there is. Having an online learning content management system to access material, beautiful learning environment it offers, team based learning approaches and excellent equipments in the laboratories, KCMUCo has it all. However, not everything is perfect of course. One challenge I face everyday is that of staying off campus. It does make me miss a few fun things and discussions with my colleagues. Second thing I can’t really call a challenge is that feeling of missing home. Having spent my entire life living with my parents in Dar-es-salaam, the physical distance tends to be a bit sickening now that I have moved to Moshi, though I talk to them everyday.

f) What do you want to do after graduating from medical school?
Frankly speaking, I have no idea the field I would like to specialize in. The one thing that makes me excited though is the Heart. Hence perhaps cardiology or cardiothoracic surgery might be the field for me. Knowing that I will be starting my clinical years soon, it will end up giving me exposures to a lot of fields that will ultimately influence my decision. After all, as the ancient saying goes, “Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart”.

g) A few words to those who donated to Maendeleo, and thus made Team Tanzania Scholar Award possible.
I don’t think I have the words to describe what a great cause Maendeleo is working towards. To me, it’s not a financial reward but rather a token of appreciation, pride and honor that I will cherish. I urge you to continue awarding medical students for it is a great source of motivation to all. Also, generosity and heart that the donors have shown is remarkable. A major shoutout to fellow Tanzanians in the US who have made this possible. To you I owe a debt of gratitude. Knowing that though you are far, you are still trying to do all you can to support your fellow Tanzanians and the country. Hats off to you and God bless you and our country.

Thank you very much.