Anna McKinsey, Class of 2012

Major: Neuroscience and Behavior; Organization: Rural and Public Health Program; Location: Mumbai, India

Anna McKinsey, Class of 2012I am enjoying India very much and, with the help of my program coordinator, have been able to meet some wonderful people who have generously sacrificed time and energy to explain and talk with me about the Indian health system, their jobs and goals. I have already lived in two places; a town of about 30,000 people called Pen and a village of less than a thousand called Malavli. In Pen I was working with an NGO called Children's Future India, which basically consisted of me riding in a mobile medical van far into the mountains with a doctor to help distribute medications and preform check-ups on patients. Children's Future India also conducted weekly HIV/AIDS clinics, which I also attended. In Pen I also visited the government hospital and was able to attend several leprosy clinics and learn much about the disease. I also attended many surgeries in the hospital. The conditions that the surgeon's worked in were astounding and it was interesting to see how different the surgery atmosphere was from when I had experienced surgeries in the US.

After three weeks my program coordinator found out that the CFI was running out of funding for the year so they were going to discontinue the mobile van. We, my program coordinator, two other students interested in public health, and I, decided that it would be best to move to a smaller village, Malavli, about an hour and a half away because there is a health clinic here with a functioning mobile medical van. Since we have arrived we have been visiting villages in the van with a doctor, Dr. Santosh, and have started a project to create health education pamphlets dealing with common health problems such as water filtration, anemia, osteoporosis, and worms. We are planning on the material in the pamphlets being both in English and Marathi so that they can be distributed in schools and be useful during translation exercises as well.