One bucket at a time pg. 7
However, the culture also can be a source of education – on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, says Barz, the ethnomusicologist.
Barz has studied ways traditional music can be used as a means to disseminate disease prevention and treatment information. In Uganda, such programs have had success in reducing the spread of AIDS.
“Lwala can draw on the Uganda model,” he says, “by using historically-rooted modes of communication—song, dance, and drama troops—to spread health education messages in tandem with the medical model, which can consist of question and answer sessions, leaflets, and testimonials.”
For Ochieng’, the possibilities are just beginning.
Next fall, his younger brother Frederick—who already has logged long hours on the clinic—will join him at Vanderbilt as the second member of the Ochieng’ family admitted to the School of Medicine.
“I want to use this experience to learn lessons about what works and what doesn’t work in order to set up other clinics elsewhere,” Ochieng’ says. “I want to be able to work in the U.S. and in Kenya, half of the year in each place, so that once this clinic is up and running on its own, I can look for another similar project in another village or country.
“We want to get Vanderbilt involved as much as possible in the long term so that fourth year medical students or residents can see what international healthcare entails.”
Vermund is excited about the possibilities international education and research offers not only for future physicians but also for students in Vanderbilt’s divinity, law and business schools, as well as those majoring in human and organizational development.
“Students will be impacted by what’s going on—not just in Kenya, but in Uganda, Mozambique, the Sudan, and other parts of the world,” Dalhouse says. “In the long term, (the Lwala clinic) project could be a template for student service experience, for faculty research, and for medical students interested in the developing world.”
Barz puts it this way: “Students know they can’t change the world. But their experiences abroad will change them, and that may eventually change the world they live in.”