Name: Annie Brunskill
Country of study: United Kingdom
Elective Location: University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria
Elective Period: March 2019
Duration of Elective: 4 weeks
Speciality: Community Medicine, HIV medicine, Renal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
We had a great time at UATH on our elective and rotated through many different departments in the hospital. Local people were always very lovely to us however we got a lot of attention being two white girls on our own for a lot of the time. We met some wonderful people both at the hospital and whilst out locally in Gwagwalada and always felt safe. We were quite careful being out and about and did not wander around at night on our own in Gwagwalada. We made friends with doctors in the hospital who took us out to the Yoruba village for a beer on a few occasions.
I can’t fault the medical experience in the hospital. We rotated through different departments to get an understanding of the different services offered. This included community medicine, HIV medicine, renal medicine and obs and gynae. Obs and gynae was a real highlight as the doctors were so friendly and allowed us to get involved clerking patients and helping with deliveries. It would have been great to work with the local medical students more – unfortunately they were on a break after sitting exams. I think it would have been more useful to the hospital if we worked in one department throughout our time as we would have got to know the unit better and would have been able to assist with activities on the ward more.
Our elective at UATH was absolutely fantastic and I learnt so much medicine. I am hoping to visit again in the future. On the whole I think it would be a really valuable experience for international students and could be beneficial for the hospital too if we could work alongside the students more. I think that at times we found aspects of Nigeria chaotic and exhausting and did require a lot of practical support to get around and feed ourselves. I would definitely recommend a medical placement at UATH.