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Medical elective FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the dates of the elective programme?
- When should I submit my application?
- How many elective places are available each year?
- How are elective students selected?
- What are the minimum and maximum number of weeks of an elective?
- What year of my university studies should I have reached to apply for an elective in Kilifi?
- What supporting materials do I need to submit with my application?
- Will I be assessed at the end of my elective?
- Will I have the opportunity to undertake a research project?
- What fees are charged for elective students?
- What opportunities for funding are there?
- Is accommodation available?
- What are the Occupational Health requirements?
- Do I need health insurance?
- Where should I send my completed application?
- Who should I contact if I have any further questions?
We accept applications from students all year round.
You need to submit your application at least 6 months before you hope to start your elective.
We accommodate a maximum of 2 students at any one time. Applications are processed on a first come-first served basis
Your application will be checked for all the supporting materials and that you have the necessary experience and qualifications to benefit from an elective placement at Kilifi. If you are offered a place you will be notified by email by the Elective Coordinator.
The minimum elective period is 6 weeks and the maximum is 10 weeks
Students can take part in the elective programme when they are in the fourth, fifth or sixth year of their home university programme
A complete application must include:
(1) A completed application form
(2) A short statement outlining why you would like to spend your elective in Kilifi and how the experience will be of benefit to you.
(3) A letter of recommendation from the Dean's Office of your Medical School stating that you are a student in good standing at the school and that you have permission to take this elective.
4) A copy of your curriculum vitae.
(5) A copy of your passport.
(6) A copy of your passport photograph.
You will be given feedback forms to complete at the end of your placement asking for comments on the elective programme and time you have spent with us. If your home university/Medical School require you to bring an evaluation form with you please hand this to your supervisor for fill in.
Many students wish to undertake a research project, we encourage this but for elective periods of less than 8 weeks it is usually only possible to gain experience within on going projects and often it is not possible to specify a project in advance. For students spending more than 8 weeks in Kilifi it may be possible to undertake specific personal projects.
We do not charge fees for elective students. However, overseas medical students are encouraged to give a voluntary contribution of KSh10,000/£75/€100 to the Kilifi Hospital Medical Emergencies Fund. This is a fund established through a partnership between the Kilifi District Hospital (KDH), KEMRI and the Kilifi Rotary Club. The fund helps to pay for specialized medical tests such as CT scans and ultra sound scans that are only available in private hospitals in Mombasa and are prohibitively expensive for the most needy patients.
Details on mode of donation will be made available on acceptance of your application.
Unfortunately we do not fully support elective students and you must therefore be self-financing. A range of funds is available for support of electives and you can find details from your medical school office. Sometimes these require project descriptions - as indicated above it is often not possible to give a specific project in advance for shorter elective periods and we therefore rely on students to be creative in applying for funds.
We will arrange accommodation for the first two weeks of your stay and after that you are free to make your own arrangements. You will be required to pay the two weeks rental in advance on your arrival in Kilifi, the cost is approx. £8 per day but may be adjusted if the accommodation is shared. You should normally therefore budget for around £10-£15 per day for food and accommodation.
There have been a number of incidents concerning minor robberies of tourists and visitors to Kilifi. Always ensure you are accompanied when walking in out of the way places. Do not walk alone at night.
It is essential that you visit the Occupational Health department of your University before coming here, to discuss the risks of working in developing countries, in particular the dangers of blood borne infections. As in most of Africa, HIV rates are much higher than in Europe. You will be advised on appropriate safety procedures to be followed at work but the vast majority of HIV transmission is by sexual activity (with obvious implications for avoidance!). If you are going to carry post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV, you need to carry triple therapy.
You should be fully vaccinated against Hepatitis B. You should also ensure that childhood immunisations (DPT) are updated. It is advisable to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Rabies occurs in Kilifi District (as anywhere else in Africa); the risk of exposure is very small but as the vaccine is safe and effective (though quite expensive) you may wish to be vaccinated. This is certainly advisable if you plan to travel in rural Kenya. Yellow fever vaccination is not necessary to enter Kenya but will require if you plan to travel on to other African countries from Kenya.
Malaria is endemic all year round. Mefloquine is currently the most effective prophylaxis. Despite the bad publicity most people take it with few problems. A combination of Chloroquine and Proguanil is an alternative but does not offer the same degree of protection. (consult your GP or on one of the tropical schools for doses/advice before travelling). Another alternative is Doxycline. No chemoprophylaxis is 100% effective. Thus measures to around being bitten (eg bednets, covering up exposed skin at night, insect repellents) are important. You should obtain medical travel insurance to cover the period you are in Kenya. The most important piece of information about malaria is that, whatever prophylaxis you take any fever, particularly within 3 months, on after returning to the UK is an indication for an immediate blood film to exclude malaria.
Yes, you must arrange personal health insurance. It is a condition of your acceptance that you are adequately insured to cover the cost of medical care if you should become ill during your elective period.
Your completed application package should be sent to electiveskemri-wellcome [dot] org
If you have any further queries please contact the Electives Administrator, Ms Rita Baya at RBayakemri-wellcome [dot] org