I had the pleasure of spending 2 weeks in Lome, Togo a country of western Africa with two of my medical school classmates and it was an amazing experience. We worked alongside community hospital physicians in labor and delivery, emergency medicine, G.I. and Pulmonology. This experience allowed me to immerse myself and experience the culture and healthcare system in rural Togo. We also had the pleasure of visiting an amazing orphanage in Togo where we read, danced and played with all the beautiful children there!
What made this trip so eye-opening is working and learning more about the healthcare system in Togo. While working in the community hospital we saw many family members living outside of the hospital because many of them traveled a long way to seek care for their family members. Instead of making the commute back home they would bring all of their belongings and stay outside the hospital as long as they needed to. I had never seen anything like this before, but they made the best of it and they did everything they could to be by their family members side.
My most memorable time working in the hospital was working in labor and delivery. It was such an eye opener because it was so different from the US. Women would come to labor and delivery without their partners because it was prohibited due to all the women in labor giving birth in one large room. The first time many of them sought out prenatal care was when they were in active labor and any of the medication, supplies or instruments the doctor may have needed was the responsibility of the patient, who had to pick them up at the pharmacy before coming to labor and delivery. This is where I even further solidified my desire to become an Ob/Gyn and dedicate my life to womens health and underserved areas. I knew that no matter where I was on the globe, I could make an impact and take care of women across the world. I am beyond grateful for this wonderful opportunity!
Togo was such a beauty! If you have any specific questions about my travels there feel free to ask in the Q & A section!