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  • Locations: Mlolongo, Kenya
  • Program Terms: Spring Travel, Summer Travel
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Positive Life Kenya
About Us
Through the years HIV/AIDS has reached an alarming level in the Mombasa Road corridor. The Mlolongo area concentrates truck stops,  manufacturing facilities and commercial sex for survival that has contributed to the spread of the disease.

Initially named Living Positive Mlolongo, our organization started as a small Community Based Organization (CBO) in 2010 i?n Mlolongo, Kenya. When our founder was doing social work in hospitals and neighborhoods in Mlolongo, she became aware of the lack of services and support for HIV positive individuals as well as their children.    

Due to the demand for additional services in other areas outside of Mlolongo, in 2015 we obtained official status as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the new name: Positive Life Kenya. This change allows us to obtain a tax exemption status and continue expanding our efforts to reach out to as many families as possible.

Today, we serve more than 300 women and children in five different slums and informal settlements around Mlolongo and Athi River.  We also support the outreach efforts in other areas in Western Kenya. 

Our Work

We support and provide care for persons affected and infected by HIV/AIDS through awareness creation and psychosocial services to enable a wholesome and positive life. The communities we work in are disadvantaged on several levels; common obstacles for the individuals we work with include educational barriers, occupational insufficiencies, and health care disparities.

Currently, Positive Life Kenya runs two schools, one in Kicheko slum and another in Lukenya Hils, serving more than 180 children ages 3 to 14. One of its schools, Kiotani (Swahili for “inside the nest”), is in the process of becoming a sustainable boarding facility and rescue center for children that come from extremely harsh backgrounds. 

Through its Women Empowerment Centre, we provide skills-based training to women in the community including those who are HIV positive. Women learn bead-making, tailoring, dressmaking, entrepreneurship and microfinance which enable them to be financially stable

In addition, we support the community at large through home visits, counseling sessions, care and prevention of HIV, health services and advocacy for at-risk and impoverished women, children, caregivers and youth. We also find  sponsors who have helped provide more than 100 children with boarding school education. 

Medical Intern Program
Brief Description
Upper year medical student with necessary skills to provide basic medical care in local informal settlements during elective rotation time.


Currently, Positive Life Kenya is in the process of building a clinic with the help from partners in the USA. While the fundraising and planning for this clinic occurs, residents of the local settlements are still in need of basic medical care, triage, and health education. Upper year medical students can provide a unique bridge while we develop the full-fledged clinic. As a medical intern, you will deliver basic care to local residents. Common complaints include musculoskeletal pain, GERD, UTI, sexually transmitted disease, rashes, minor cuts, prenatal counseling, etc.

The most important question a medical student can answer is “Do I really need to go to the hospital?” For this community, hospitals are inaccessible from both a cost and travel perspective. Many people, however, do not know how to manage minor complaints on their own and feel that the hospital is the only place that can help them. They travel to the hospital, wait in long lines, and are sent home with ibuprofen. Alternatively, when it comes to serious problems, people do not have the means to pay and falsely believe symptoms will resolve over time. These problems snowball and can often be fatal. After completing required clinical rotations, students should have the ability to deal with both sides of this problem. Even if you don’t know what is going on, you can at least tell someone they either absolutely need to find a way to a hospital or
that you can actually treat them with minor interventions.

A very important component of your trip will be providing health and sex education. You can prepare a wide variety of presentations for the community in whatever areas you are interested . Topics in the past have included HIV/AIDS, Prenatal care and nutrition, Sexually transmitted infections, and open Q+A’s.

What are the benefits to you as a medical student?
  • Improve your physical diagnosis skills; lack of tests and equipment will challenge you to go back to the basic physical exam
  • Start building connections for a future in global health
  • Increase your creativity and resourcefulness when it comes to treating patients; you won’t have everything you want to treat a patient’s condition but you can get creative and help people in ways you never thought of before
  • Practice working with a translator and enhance your communication skills; while many people do speak English in Kenya, the predominant language is Kiswahili. You will need to rephrase how you ask and explain medically related concepts. This will be a critical skill when you start your residency, no matter where you go.
  • You get to help the most amazing group of people and they are so full of gratitude for your presence.

  • In good standing at accredited medical college
  • BLS Certified
  • Completion of internal medicine, family medicine, OB/Gyn, and pediatric rotations
Living Details
Medical interns will reside at the home of Mary Wabwire, the director of Positive Life Kenya. Her home is located in Syokimau, about 5 miles from the main office in Mlolongo.
Mary lives in a gated and guarded community. The volunteer quarters are separate from themain house and have their own bathroom and showers. There is running water and electricity at Mary’s house. Wifi is available but intermittently unavailable. Breakfast and dinner is provided to the interns daily and interns can pack lunches to avoid costs if they want. Transportation to and from the office is either via Mary in the car, walking to a matatu, or piki piki (motorbike). Your room will come set up with a bed, pillow, sheets, and a mosquito net.

Airfare $800-$1000
Room and Board (Breakfast and Dinner Included) $10/day
Lunch $1-3/day or packed leftovers from homestay
Inernet $10/week
In Country Transportation(matatue/piki piki) $20/week
Round trip Airport Transportation $20 (Mary will pick you up but cannot guarantee drop off depending on flight time)

For more information please review the Medical Intern PDF File

Students are encouraged to forward any questions regarding the Medical Intern Program to Mary Wabwire:

Jefferson Student Reports/Journals -Positive Life Kenya
Positive Life - Kenya
Positive Life - Kenya

This program is currently not accepting applications.