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A Little Clinic Making a Big Difference

A recent biomed graduate from the UK got a taste of the demands — and the rewards — of running a small clinic on the edge of the Maasai Mara
Above: Amy and Dr Irene outside The Davis Family Clinic

The first thing you notice arriving at Angama Mara is its beauty. The vistas, the birds and hyraxes around the deck — and the ever-smiling faces that greet you. But I have been lucky to see a different side to Angama which, somehow, is even more beautiful.

I am a recent biomedicine graduate with a passion for global health and an even stronger passion for Africa, having grown up knowing and experiencing its unique charm. However, over the past few years, it has been very difficult to keep this love alive. When the opportunity arose to spend three weeks volunteering in Angama’s Clinic I couldn’t have been more excited, and admittedly, a little nervous.

A happy three weeks spent caring for Angama's neighboring community

It was an experience well outside my comfort zone where I didn’t know what to expect. I had filled my mind with all sorts of worries and fears but the warm welcome I received immediately put my mind at ease. I have never met a group of people as kind and welcoming as the Angama family; I was overwhelmed with enthusiastic greetings and genuine concern over how my day was going and whether I’d eaten or slept well.

Pharmacists, nurses, receptionists... the list of duties goes on

From the first day I set foot in The Davis Family Clinic, I was blown away by how much care Dr Irene and Dr Mark pour into their work. They are not only doctors but also nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists, cleaners, receptionists, confidants and much more. With just one doctor in the clinic at a time, they work tirelessly to not only get through their daily tasks but to give every single patient the time, care and support they deserve.

I made it my mission to do whatever I could to ease their workload while in the clinic. Whether it was running tests, preparing medications, cleaning up, sterilising equipment or recording and billing the consultations, I found enough work to keep a whole team of doctors busy.

The Clinic looks after the Angama family as well as the neighboring community (and then some)

Most of the people benefitting from their care are from the Maasai community. Patients would come from miles away to get their ailments treated. Some mentioned they had been so impressed by how quickly they felt better after their previous visits that they had returned with all the unwell friends and family they could find.

Full stomachs make for peak performance

My time outside the clinic was also filled with new experiences and lessons. I was fortunate my visit coincided with the annual school exams, which is when Angama supports the neighbouring children by providing a delicious hot lunch to fuel them through the stressful days.

Another highlight was a walking safari where Leshan, a naturalist, showed me plants used in traditional Maasai medicine and taught me about the land, the wildlife and culture. I even tried one of his traditional tree bark remedies, although it was rather bitter and made my mouth numb.

Dr Irene's infectious smile and warm nature is a tonic in itself

I left the Mara with a newfound respect for the way the people, the land, the lodge, the animals — and of course the clinic — interact to form a delicately balanced ecosystem. It is this intersectionality that sparked my interest in global health and Angama helped me see how big and important this field can be.

Filed under: Giving Back

Tagged with:

Angama Clinic , Angama Foundation , Angama Team

About: Amy Scheijde

After graduating with a degree in biomedicine, Amy Scheijde travelled all the way to the Maasai Mara from the UK to volunteer in The Davis Family Clinic. Her quiet determination and eager helping hand were felt not only in the clinic but in the rest of Angama.

Browse all articles by Amy Scheijde Meet the angama team

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Join the Conversation (4 comments)

Comments (4):

KARLA J GADLEY

6 April 2022

I am truly enjoying the articles and pictures, I have discovered my short week at Angama Mara was not nearly enough time to take in all there is, I can't wait to return Karla Gadley - Ohio, USA

    Charlotte Ross Stewart

    6 April 2022

    Hello Karla, thank you for reading our blog. Some of the team have worked at and been visiting Angama for eight years and we still have to read the blogs to take in the many stories, so you're not alone. I know the Angama family would be so happy to welcome you and Dennis back after such a happy time in November. All the best, Charlotte

Shannon Davis

5 April 2022

Love this story! Thanks for sharing your experience ❤️

    Charlotte Ross Stewart

    6 April 2022

    The Davis Family Clinic is in good hands, but it misses you dearly.

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