Someone asked me this, because I was only talking about my work gardening and pulling weeds on the grounds, learning Dholuo, and sightseeing or fighting with the bureaucracy in Nairobi.

Yes, I am doing a little medicine. I am currently studying malaria, trying to really understand the life cycle, why it is important, how the drugs work and their pharmacology, and the host factors or treatment refinements that may change how the disease responds to treatment. Every time I read the 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria, I learn something new or see something in more depth. Amazing how motivating it is to have daily reminders of the seriousness and incredible prevalence of this disease!

Then I try to create an engaging, interesting conversation with the staff, who have all seen much more malaria than I, and transmit the current global standards for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of resistance. That’s the hard part–overcoming months or years of the habits of professionals–and helping them change the way they practice. I have to remind myself regularly that practice changes often take decades to implement fully, and they aren’t going to happen in a year just because some ex-pat describes the ideal a few times!

Figure 1

2 thoughts on “Aren’t You Doing Any Medicine?

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