Mr. Khan’s Plans for Orthopedic Clinic in The Gambia

In his first year here at Belmont Hill, Mr. Khan has been involved in numerous aspects of campus, from coaching Varsity Soccer to teaching science. However, he plans to impact more people’s lives in a truly benevolent way. Originally from The Gambia, Mr. Khan grew up with two principal ideologies: helping others and soccer. Raised in a large, religious family, he was instilled with the belief that one must care for others as well as oneself, an ideal central to the Islamic faith. Accordingly, Mr. Khan believes he, “has a duty to give back”. He plans to do this through medicine, specifically sports-related orthopedic therapy. As he grew up playing soccer barefoot on the streets of The Gambia, he discovered the injuries that can occur quite frequently. As The Gambia is quite a small, poverty-stricken country, medicinal aid, especially for muscular injuries, is quite limited. For example, if you sprain an ankle in The Gambia, two options are offered: either wait and see if it heals with time or get it compressed, a painful and potentially long-term damaging process. These possibilities are vastly inferior to modern health care options. To combat this, Mr. Khan plans to establish an orthopedic healthcare clinic, working specifically on muscular injuries. He hopes to start the clinic treating just common injuries such as sprained ankles, and eventually progress to all muscular injuries, including ACL tears and related trauma. Due to widespread poverty throughout the country, the technology necessary for medical aid is limited. Machines such as MRIs or CAT scans are unavailable, which creates issues when treating injuries. According to Mr. Khan, many injured athletes must leave the country to receive proper treatment. Mr. Khan’s plans to establish a clinic which acts as a teaching hospital, in which trained professionals can pass on their knowledge to Gambian doctors. Mr. Khan wants the clinic to last and if the information is passed along to local professionals, the operation can continue to help as many people as possible for as long as possible. As Mr. Khan put it, “Give a man a fish, you can feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you can feed him for a lifetime”. At the moment, this clinic is in a very preliminary stage, as Mr. Khan fleshes out the logistics. After recently graduating from the pre-med program at Amherst, he plans to attend medical school and plan out his project more thoroughly. Overall, Mr. Khan’s charitable aspirations, although early in the process, should act as inspirations to us all: “Anyway I can make an impact in people’s lives, I take that route”.


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