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Student Experience in Africa: Highlights from G-Lab GHD 2008-9

This video is meant to showcase the experiences of students participating in MIT Sloan’s Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory, which is an intensive course that has MIT Sloan MBA students working in the classroom and on-site with enterprises in developing and emerging markets to address problem posed by the entrepreneurs themselves. One major question is: Why do so many people fail to benefit from the vast progress that modern medicine has made. This year students in this course sought to answer this question by taking on a new challenge- Global Health Delivery. In sub-Saharan Africa, ambitious efforts to improve healthcare have scaled up dramatically, yet the practical knowledge needed for delivering health care is still lagging.

In January, 53 students travelled to Africa in teams of four to Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sierra Leone to try to understand the challenges of delivering health care in resource limited settings and to lend their business skill sets to the organizations trying to solve these problems. The results of this course were life changing, for students, the organizations they worked with and the populations these organizations serve.

In this video you will see pictures and clips, taken by the teams themselves, showing the beauty of Africa, the communities’ students lived and worked in, and the interaction between students and their hosts.

In addition, you will hear from Heather Pichette, a student in this course about her experience at CIDRZ, an infectious disease research organization in Zambia. She says:

“Although we learned about the challenges of health delivery in Africa prior to traveling there, seeing it with my own eyes was still a sobering experience. When we arrived at the clinic at 8am, there was already a line of patients who had been waiting since 5am to receive their medicines, and they might wait all day to see a clinician. It was explained to us that the accuracy of their lab results was integral for these patients, who had to choose between eating or coming to the clinic for testing. It was at that point when I realized how crucial our suggestions could be to the future of the organization and the local people. I arrived home from Africa overwhelmed by what I had seen, and yet hopeful knowing the spirit and tenacity of the local organizations that were trying to improve life for the Zambian people. G-lab Global Health Delivery provided me with one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences at Sloan, improving the lives of people in resource-constrained settings. I highly recommend this class to all students and think that its mission truly embraces the Sloan spirit of applying business skills to give back to the greater community.”

Thank you for watching! We hope this gives you a sense of the work we did, the fun we had and the impact we made.

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December 08, 2009 13:11
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