Schol­ar­ship funds Kerry’s third world medic sa­fari

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

For­mer Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent Kerry Short will spend the next few months work­ing along­side doc­tors in some of the most re­mote places in the world.

The fifth-year Univer­sity of Otago med­i­cal stu­dent re­ceived a $5000 schol­ar­ship to help fund a work-ex­pe­ri­ence trip to Nepal, Zam­bia and Tan­za­nia.

Speak­ing to the Chron­i­cle last week, Kerry said she was look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge of work­ing in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

‘‘I’m go­ing into the un­known, which is quite thrilling,’’ she said.

‘‘I like the fact that it’s very re­source lim­ited and you have to have con­fi­dence in your own knowl­edge with­out the backup of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy like MRI ma­chines.’’

Kerry aims to work in ru­ral medicine and spent the last year study­ing in Greymouth as part of the univer­sity’s Ru­ral Med­i­cal Im­mer­sion Pro­gramme.

The Pat Farry Ru­ral Health Ed­u­ca­tion Trust Trav­el­ling Schol­ar­ship will en­able her to ex­pe­ri­ence how ru­ral medicine pro­grammes are run in world coun­tries.

Trust chair­man John Farry said the schol­ar­ship aimed to help young peo­ple spend time in ‘‘ in­no­va­tive and chal­leng­ing’’ over­seas sit­u­a­tions and to later be­come ‘‘the new gen­er­a­tion of idea gen­er­a­tors’’ in New Zealand.

On Mon­day, Kerry left for Nepal, where she will spend five weeks with a trav­el­ling ru­ral clinic-based pro­gramme called Hope and Home.

On Christ­mas Eve, she will arrive in Zam­bia, to be­gin a sixweek place­ment at the St Fran­cis Hospi­tal, a small base hospi­tal serv­ing a large ru­ral pop­u­la­tion.

‘‘I’m hop­ing to get more prac-

third tical skills and con­fi­dence in my own knowl­edge,’’ said Kerry.

‘‘I will be watch­ing other pro­fes­sion­als and how they do it. ‘‘It’s a pool of knowl­edge. ‘‘The en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion they have got – it’s a spe­cial kind of per­son that will go and work in those places, and to learn from them is go­ing to be in­spi­ra­tional for sure.’’

A keen pi­lot, the 22-year-old has also ar­ranged to join the Fly­ing Med­i­cal Ser­vice in Tan­za­nia for four days.

‘‘We will fly into lit­tle vil­lages that are dif­fi­cult to ac­cess and give vac­ci­na­tions and check on moth­ers and ba­bies.’’

Kerry will take med­i­cal sup­plies such as ther­mome­ters and blood pres­sure ma­chines with her from New Zealand.

Par­ents Patricia and Grant Short are un­der­stand­ably proud of their daugh­ter.

‘‘We are so happy that she can get out and do these things and has these types of op­por­tu­ni­ties,’’ said Mrs Short.

When she re­turns, Kerry will be com­plet­ing her fi­nal year of med­i­cal school in Christchurch and hopes to even­tu­ally prac­tise some­where like Mata­mata.

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