Dr. Elijah Mwaura is a surgeon from Kenya in East Africa, who was recently a long-stay resident at Zoku while in Amsterdam to take part in a programme at the Amsterdam Skill Center where he is learning Minimal Invasive Surgery to enhance his skills and be able to share his knowledge back home. Dr. Mwaura is the first global surgeon to train at the ASC, kickstarting a great initiative from the Center to train health care professionals in low and middle income countries on minimally invasive surgeries using modern technology, so the trainees such as Dr. Mwaura are able to go back and teach their fellow doctors or surgeons, with the result of safer and cheaper health care
What path has your career taken?
I was fascinated by medicine from a young age. I often wondered how doctors figure out what problem a patient has considering often you cannot directly look at the problem. I then read the story of Dr. Ben Carson in Gifted Hands which impacted me profoundly and from thence I knew that is what I would pursue. When I graduated as a doctor I had many choices, I had several specialties to choose from. I picked surgery since I enjoyed doing things with my hands from a young age. Furthermore, I had once witnessed a guy bleed terribly after an assault when I was in high school and the helplessness I felt pushed me to be able to take care of such injuries and more.
What brought you to Amsterdam?
To gain a special skill in surgery-minimal access surgery. I am refining my skills, to be able to use the most modern techniques for my patients back home.
How long have you stayed at Zoku Amsterdam and what were your thoughts?
I was a long stay resident for 5 weeks at Zoku Amsterdam. I thought it was a homely place with unique rooms and lovely staff.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Life is not a rehearsal, don’t take it lightly, neither is it permanent, don’t take it too seriously. Breathe, don’t sigh!, as Zoku puts it.
What’s your current/newly discovered go-to product, service or app you would recommend to others?
The Google translate app. I was once in China where English is not widespread and it opened doors for me.
Which book/product have you gifted the most?
Hand written cards, You can personalise your feelings and create music with words.
If you could pick one project to work on for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would pick the conservation of nature. Nature is beautiful, and people need to see animals in their natural habitat to appreciate their beauty. I suggest a trip to Maasai Mara game park in Kenya.
What does home mean to you?
Home is where the heart is. People get homesick because their heart is elsewhere.
What is one piece of advice or tip in your field of work that you want to give to people?
Good health is a gift, treasure it. And take care of those with poor health.