Where do you come from?
I come from Italy; my parents live in a little town in the center of Italy but I live in Rome since 2012.
What do you specialize in as a medical student?
Nowadays, it’s very hard to be sure about my future but I’m very interested in oncology and cardiology at the moment. I hope to find my way very soon.
For how long have you helped out at Benedict Medical Center (BMC) and what have you been able to do?
I have been at BMC for three weeks. I have been cooperating with BMC Medical Staff every day during ward rounds in the morning, during 24/7 work at the Out Patients Department (OPD) and surgical procedures in the theater as a spectator. It was very interesting working with these doctors because they have a very different approach to their job, to medical skills and to the patients, very different from Italian doctors back home. I have learned a lot because all BMC doctors are very kind and they want to teach you something.
What do you think about Benedict Medical Center in terms of:-
The aim of BMC is, of course very different i.e. to serve the very needy; it is small in terms of size but very useful and efficient to the people of Luzira and the neighborhood. Many people trek to the hospital on foot, in search of a relatively fair price that they can afford; and in return, they receive very effective treatment. The OPD department works very well, so people can ask for help to well-prepared doctors.
The equipment can’t be compared to the one that you can find in big hospitals. The Out Patients Department (OPD) works very well for easy cases (respiratory infections, different kind of pain, malaria etc) but if patients need some specific exams (like chest X-ray, ECG, echocardiography), they have to move to another hospital. It’s a very good hospital for everyday cases but for complex and emergency cases, it has to be connected to a bigger Referral hospital; and regarding this matter BMC is on point.
Is this your first time in Uganda and is there anything you loved about this country?
It is my first time in Uganda and what I expected is not what I found. Uganda is a country with bigger prospectives for the future, with great potential. Ugandan people need to work hard in order to attain a good quality of life in the next ten years. Ugandan people are very kind and cheerful; I love the food especially the sweet and tasty fresh fruits. I love the landscapes most. Most areas in the outskirts of Kampala are so green, so wild, something we are not used to in our Italian cities.
What are your future prospects in the next five years?
I hope to graduate in the summer of 2018. I have to study very hard for my last exams and then, after graduation, I will have to apply for my postgraduate specialization. I’m going to work and study at the same time and I hope that in the next five years I will have become a good doctor. I’m also thinking about traveling a lot, especially in Africa; it’s a big continent to discover.
What advice/word to BMC can you give?
Medical staff must keep working with the same passion that I have seen. I hope to come back one day to BMC and to find a bigger hospital with more medical equipment, more diagnostic facilities and more doctors too. They are very important for Luzira community.
I must thank Emmaus Foundation for their help, friendliness and support. Their work is very inspiring and useful for Ugandan people. Talking with the General Manager Mr. Patrick Onen Ezaga was very interesting for me and my colleagues. We had an opportunity to know a lot about Ugandan people, culture, food and politics.
Luzira Community and the patients that visit BMC
Ugandan people are very friendly and I and my friends had the opportunity to talk with a lot of them. We felt very welcome and this made me and I hope the same for my friends, feel at home for a little while. Some patients were very open and happy for our presence in the ward and in the OPD. It was very funny when children were looking at us and calling us “mzungu” every time, with a big smile.