University of Michigan Nursing
Receiving guests and friends is always a pleasure and a blessing in the same measure. On May 21st, the St. Aloysius Gonzaga High school received special visitors from the University of Michigan-Flint in United States. Students from the School of Nursing came visiting and they didn’t just come, they came to make a change! Every year the faculty undertakes a community outreach program in Africa as part of their course work on Leadership and Community and they have been involved in Kenya for the last ten years. While in Kenya, they partner with charitable institutions (such as St. Aloysius) and the government of Kenya to share their experiences, knowledge, and expertise while reaching out to the community.
As fate would have it, this year the faculty selected St. Aloysius after a strong recommendation by a friend who is working in Kenya. They fell in love with the mission of St. Aloysius High school of serving the needy and bright youth from the slums of Kibera. For four consecutive days, the school played host to eleven nursing students and two faculty members. For our students, this was a unique and God-sent opportunity to not only interrogate the nurses with pertinent questions but also share with them intricate health issues afflicting them. In conjunction with our local school nurse, the nurses were able to conduct health education on various topical health issues, provide screening of basic especially physical assessment and recommend good healthcare practices and/or referrals as deemed necessary. Matter-of-factly, this allowed many of our students to get very close with nurses and to freely ask questions and interact with nurses.
A very strong bond was created within four days. It was amazing to witness the manner in which our students and the nurses cemented bonds in small groups under the supervision of their instructors. Since we have four classes, each day each class had a date with the nurses to maximize contact and exchange of knowledge. The visit was crowned by a huge gathering where all the nurses gave a short and general talk on health to the students. When all was done, it was time for the nurses to move on extend their services to other communities in the Rift valley for two weeks. There would interact with locals and have first-hand experience in handling malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS management. It was also serve them a platform to interact with Kenyan healthcare systems, structures and practitioners. Back in St. Aloysius, they have left an indelible mark and impression on our boys and girls. The students are longing for more of such moments. They are filled with very fond memories of the interactions. They have inspired careers; they shared the experiences that will change the course of history for the school; and above all they blended into the motto of the school which is to learn, love and serve.