KCMCollege 2017

My name is SakinaMehboob Rashid and I am currently working as an Intern Doctor at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. I am the second child in a family of three. I speak an ethnic language which has no script and I can converse in my national tongue which is a blend of several languages. My bloodline traces back to the Indian desert wilderness of Kutch, but I identify myself as a Tanzanian.

I come from a background where education and moral values is given the utmost importance and these values have translated into my choice of a career as a doctor. I believe it is a profession which requires the use of intellect as well as a sense of responsibility to humanity. I have always been filled with a sense of fulfillment after working to my best for serving a patient and am ever grateful to The Almighty for this opportunity.

Receiving recognition for my efforts during the final year of my medical school brought me and my family great joy. I lost my father before I began my last year as a medical student and was determined to work even harder to honor his memory and teachings. I would like to dedicate this award to him.

While the award is given to the student with the best performance each year, I believe it overlooks the effort of multiple others who have worked their way through medical school. I have known many students during my years of study who deserved recognition for characters which aren’t measured by academic performance. Respect for patients, dedication and discipline are all invaluable traits in a generation of doctors and such values need to be applauded.

Moving away from home had been quite a challenge for me. Coupling that with an immense volume of study had thrown me off quite a bit during my early years. I soon blended into my new lifestyle and looking back, I wouldn’t have made a different choice.

I have developed an interest for the surgical disciplines and have long term plans to specialize in neurosurgery. I have been quite lucky to be mentored by surgeons and neurologists who have guided me so far.

I applaud the Maendeleo Organization for their – quite successful – effort to promote education in Tanzania. The awards serve as an inspiration for every medical student in Tanzania. It is quite humbling to receive a prize that signifies the bond we Tanzanians have with our homeland.

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

My name is MeghnaVipulkumar Solanki. I am 21 years old, currently a third 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 (SRSS). 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, tennis and swimming.

It would seem my introduction sounds familiar and it is. I have had the priviledge of receiving this award last year too.

My decision to practice medicine has in some ways been influenced by my grandfather.  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. I have had a fascination and literal obsession with science for as long as I can remember. I strived to always top in science. Medicine is challenging, interesting, demanding but also noble and impacting profession. Knowing that after finishing medical 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. Now that I am in my third year, I will be given the chance to interact with patients and have hands on experience which to me is what medicine is all about.

I would sincerely like to thank Maendeleo for this award. I feel greatly honoured and privileged for this recognition once again. Getting it the first time was amazing but getting it again knowing I had to put in extra hard work than before is incredible. To my family, it’s a moment of pride and joy. My parents have been so supportive of all the decisions I have made that I think it’s a small token of appreciation to them too.

Maendeleo Team Tanzania Scholar Award is a great motivation to all the students who work tirelessly to achieve their dreams. I think the awareness amongst students regarding the prize is still lacking and more needs to be done to raise awareness. Also the selection criteria for the award is academic excellence which I think is fair and justifiable.

 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 materials, an electronic as well as physical library, beautiful learning environment it offers including in the background the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, 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 and friends. Second thing, I can’t really call it a challenge is that feeling of missing home. Knowing I have already spent greater part of the last 2 years in Moshi, it would seem petty but it isn’t really. The feeling of missing home continues to remain when I’m away.

 Frankly speaking, I still 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. Now that I have started my clinical years, I will have the exposure I need before making my decision. After all, as the ancient saying goes, “Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart”.

 I know I have said this before and I’m saying it again;A major shoutout to fellow Tanzanians in the US who have made this possible. I don’t think I can express in words what a great cause Maendeleo is working towards. I owe a debt of gratitude to you. 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. I assure you; your efforts are absolutely appreciated and cherished.

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.

Peace out!

My name is Japhet S Chugambuli. I am a Tanzanian by nationality. I am the last born in our family blessed with three children. As a child my dream was to be a pilot, a job which I admired it and I did not know the reason but my parents did not have that much expectations on me since they ended in primary school only. My mother however told me that just study hard and she thought that I could manage to be a teacher. On my side however I continued to believe on my dream and continued to study hard whereby I passed well my National primary school examinations where I was selected to join Malangali secondary school.

I started my O’level secondary education at Malangali secondary school with the greater ambition of becoming a pilot whereby I planned after finishing my O’level secondary education I will join advanced secondary education taking PGM combination so as to achieve my dream.

However problems started when I realized that I was no longer good in mathematics though on other subjects I was doing fine. I then started to work hard on my mathematics however I was having little success and as years passed by, I started to give up slowly on my dream of becoming a pilot. However my first brother then advised me to start loving the engineering courses and he taught me well in physics, biology, chemistry and mathematics however despite all those efforts my mathematics grade did not improve but I started to have high grades in physics, chemistry and biology subjects. One day our biology teacher when we were in form three, our biology madam asked each of us to present in front of the class what carriers we would like to do in the future and I stood in front of the class and said that I would like to be an engineer and my biology teacher was surprised. She stopped me and told me that day that I will be a doctor in the future. Then from that day I started thinking about being a doctor in the future however my mind was not still settled yet.

I finished my O’level education were I scored good grades in science subjects particularly physics, chemistry and biology and then I was selected for the advanced secondary school education at Songea boys secondary school  taking PCB combination. But before going to school to start form five, I received a greater inspiration when we were visited by my uncle at home who is a medical doctor whereby he told me how important and noble is the carrier. Thus I went to start my advanced secondary education with high morale of passing my exams and later on becoming a medical doctor.

I finished my advanced secondary school education also scoring good grades whereby I then applied for medical courses, Doctor of medicine at three different institutions MUHAS, UDSM and KCMUCo. But also I applied for other two courses, including Nursing at MUHAS and Pharmacy at CUHAS. To be honest I was not really interested to study in the private institutions since they are expensive and I was also fearing that my parents could not afford the expenses of these private institutions. However then the university selection were out and I was selected at KCMUCo to take Doctor of medicine. Thanks to God the almighty, I received Loan from Loan Board of Tanzania (HESLB) that my parents could afford those costs.

Life at the beginning of the first year in KCMUCo was somewhat difficult since there were some challenges including the accommodation challenges where the college have few hostels to accommodate all students that I was forced to rent a room in a street but nearby the college compounds. The learning management system (LCMS) and the electronic books offered were somewhat difficult to access since I was having no laptop or any other device that could help me access them.

I should be thankful to the almighty God, my parents and brothers, my lecturers, my classmates and closest friends whom I think through their support I was able to finish my first year at college successfully and being able to emerge as an MD I overall best student and an MD I best student in anatomy course. Through these achievements I was awarded the Prof E.Mtui award as a best MDI student in anatomy course and also The Team scholar Award as the best overall MDI student. These awards have been greater motivation to myself so that I can keep my grades and my performance high. Also the awards have even motivated my fellow classmates to have academic excellence that they could be awarded someday.

After finishing my doctor of medicine course, I would like to pursue higher learning as an orthopaedic surgeon. Also I am forever grateful to MAENDELEO. I think they are doing something beautiful, promoting medical excellence. May the good Lord bless your endeavors.