BEING handed newborn babies from the delivery room of a hospital in Tanzania, Africa, is something Kelsey Milner-Cherry won't ever forget.

The 16-year-old Cathedral College student returned home last week after spending her school holidays in the city of Morogoro as part of a Gap Medics program.

Kelsey said the trip to the hospital was a 40-minute walk, with some of her trip highlights including visiting the local orphanage and seeing the smiles on the children's faces.

"I had a placement at the hospital where I worked in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, so we got to just observe as well as weigh newborn babies and check temperatures and things like that," Kelsey explained.

"I don't know how to describe the experience - amazing is the word I've been using, but that just doesn't cut it either."

Gap Medics is a specialist company dedicated to arranging hospital placements abroad for students hoping to study medicine, nursing, dentistry or midwifery at university, or those in their first year of medical school.

As dux of her grade in Years 9 and 10, Kelsey said she applied to the program to get an insight into medicine, but to also to help others living in poverty-stricken countries.

"I think it's helping sick people, and being able to save them when they could be so close to death," the Year 11 student said.

UNFORGETTABLE: Kelsey Milner-Cherry nurses a new born baby she witnessed being born in Tanzania, Africa. INSET: Kelsey with a child from an orphanage.
UNFORGETTABLE: Kelsey Milner-Cherry nurses a new born baby she witnessed being born in Tanzania, Africa. INSET: Kelsey with a child from an orphanage. Contributed

"But this experience has especially made me even surer that this is what I'd like to do. I think I'd like to work in emergency and trauma; I like the idea that it's fast-paced."

But one of the most important things Kelsey took away from the experience was being motivated by what she saw and heard while working with the doctors.

"I think it's about how you are as a doctor. The doctors I met were so well-educated and gave their patients the best possible care even with such little equipment," Kelsey said.

"It was very special because they said they'd love to have me back one day."



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