8 things about Dr. Fredrick Kinama
Meet Fredrick Kinama of Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Kinama received the inaugural IAMAT Violet Williams Travel Medicine Scholarship to attend a travel medicine course sponsored by the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) in 2014. Here are 8 interesting facts about Dr. Kinama and what he learned during his training in Johannesburg.
- Dr. Kinama speaks English and Swahili and is well-versed in Taita, a Bantu language spoken in the Taita Hills on the southeastern border with Tanzania. He graduated from the University of Nairobi Medical School in 2008 and is certified in health management systems. Among his previous positions, he worked in El Wak on the border with Somalia providing medical care to employees working for international humanitarian organizations.
- In 2014, he worked at the Karibu Medical Centre in Nairobi with 3 other general practitioners and 3 nurses. He and his colleagues participate in weekly continuing medical education workshops usually held on Fridays.
- At his clinic, he sees mostly Kenyans travelling abroad, as well as Congolese, Rwandan, and South Sudanese patients. He also cares for travellers from all over the world going on safaris and Chinese expats working on infrastructure projects in his country.
- He is passionate about travel medicine and wants to expand its practice in Kenya. He plans to reach out to as many people as possible by partnering with local hospitals and clinics, including travel companies, universities who send students abroad, and businesses with expat employees. Dr. Kinama says that as more Kenyans travel abroad they need to be reminded of possible travel-related health risks.
- During the course, Dr. Kinama learned that travel health goes beyond the administration of vaccines. “It’s patient-dependent and needs to consider the duration and itinerary of the trip. It’s important to get more information on the destination and potential risks,” he says. It’s detail-oriented, encompasses many medical disciplines, and knowledge of geography is a must! Highlights of the training course for Dr. Kinama were travel and mental health, expat health, Malaria prevention and consequences of a delayed diagnosis, Hajj travel, medical evacuation, and sub-optimal care in resource-limited or remote areas.
- Other travel medicine considerations that are of particular interest to him: Decompression illnesses, mainly on how to adjust from high altitude to diving situations. Dr. Kinama notes that the main travel health concerns in Kenya are sun safety, Malaria, Dengue, and Schistosomiasis. In rural areas, the priority health concerns affecting locals are maternal and child health.
- Thanks to the scholarship, Dr. Kinama can now confidently carry out a comprehensive pre-travel consultation and can provide a post-travel assessment for travellers who come back with an illness. The scholarship course inspired him to be a travel medicine pioneer in Kenya and to further his studies. He plans to apply for a Master’s of Science in International Health at Jomo Kenyatta University.
- Dr. Kinama likes to travel, make new friends, and read non-fiction specifically about science, technology and health. Dr. Kinama volunteers in orphanages providing medical care to children as well as families in low-income settlements.
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Last reviewed and updated: December 21, 2016