"You guys are ahead of us"
“With a warm smile on his face, Muchai Muriithi Gachago from Kenya is a lively person. Gachago completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) from the University of Nairobi in November 2005. Looking back on his internship days, he remembers an interesting phase when he was posted at a maternity hospital in Thika district, Kenya for almost 2 years! Although it had nothing to do with ophthalmology, the specialization he eventually chose, Gachago feels he had a very good surgical exposure. "Sometimes I did 4 to 6 C-sections a day," he recalls.
Gachago received a scholarship jointly from the Government of Kenya and Christoffel Blindenmission, Germany for a 3-year Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology. He did his first elective term from Sabatia Eye Hospital in Kenya and has just completed part of his second elective term, a one-month clinical rotation at L V Prasad Eye Institute.
"I got to see a lot of new cases here, which are very rare in Nairobi. For example, corneal transplants are not very common there. I had never heard of DSEK and Stargardt's and had never before diagnosed this syndrome called Vogt Koyanagi Harada. Sutureless PPV (pars plana vitrectomy) is also something I saw for the first time. The clinics back home are not as busy as here. In technology such as OCT and corneal topography, you guys are ahead of us. I have enjoyed working with the consultants here," says an animated Gachago.
One of his lecturers, who had done a fellowship at LVEPI, had warned him about the long working hours this demanding program requires. Other friends advised him to keep aside some money for food as he would find it tough to put up with the Indian vegetarian platter. But Gachago says he had no problems and enjoyed it all!
Gachago loves traveling and swimming and had won the "Swimmer of the year Nairobi" title in 1993. He was a member of the National Swimming Team in 1998. Excelling equally in academics, he received a gold medal for topping his institute in Networking.