In conjunction with the Drexel University WeServe program and the Drexel University School of Public Health, we will be traveling to Gambia (West Africa) this summer to do work on a number of public health projects related to maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention & education, and chronic disease management.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
|Vaccine Vials and Syringes in the Hallway...we are currently working with some of the hosptial staff on ways to manage such clinical waste appropriately|
|Tosin, during our assessment of the pharmacy.|
|Tosin helping Dr. Camara with an extraction in the dental clinic.|
|Group meeting with Matthew, one of the head nurses in the outpatient department.|
|The girls with the staff from the dental and eye clinics.|
|One of the 8 trekking sites that the hospital visits to provided care to children under 5 and administer vaccines.|
|Tosin and Lauren at the Somita Clinic, helping Kalilu, a public health worker, administer vaccinations.|
|The team, rocking our Drexel polos.|
|Tomi, helping Dr. Camara in the dental clinic.|
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Rain, Rain, Go Away!! The rainy season is here in the Gambia and so is Malaria season! The L.O.V. E crew experienced their first torrential downpour of this season. Rains so loud you cant hear yourself think, and thunder so long that it seems like an echo. Although the rain may seem like it's bit of a hindrance from their work, it has made a significant difference in cooling down the climate! The L.O.V. E team often catches themselves just listening and watching the rain come down in what seems like buckets! The rain has also increased the L.O.V. E team's "family time" in the house, allowing them to watch movies, Oprah, play "UNO", and just talk about a numerous amount of topics. One of the first battles they have experienced with the rain is, its aftermath. The army of bugs and animals trying to come in and escape has been nothing less of a battle between man versus insects! Tomi, Lauren, and Tosin had an insecticide war with some peculiar flying ant-worm things! Thankfully, man won this fight and they figured out a way to prevent these insects from invading the house. Meanwhile Greg and Idris have been on Promtherin duty, spraying down the perimeter of their home in order to keep bugs OUT! The rain has had its good and bad effects, but one thing is for sure...they definitely did not bring enough OFF!!
After the last rain storm, the L.O.V. E crew went down to the river with their guide Sanna. It was about a 30-minute hike from SJGH hospital. On the way, the crew walked through villages, saw, colorful insects, and observed the nature that guided their way to the Gambian River. They noticed how close they were to the river by the sudden appearance of green grass that accompanied their journey. Idris and Tomi noticed a weird and slow movement across the shore, and after taking a closer look, noticed a ton of hermit crabs and regular crabs moving together! One thing the crew couldn't help but notice was how deserted and abandoned the river was. Deteriorated boats bordered the perimeter and dead fish and crabs were being washed upon the shore in handfuls. After they reached their destination Sanna explained how people use the river to travel, swim and to fish. It was cool to see the place where a lot of Gambians go to provide for their families and use as recreation.
After the L.O.V.E crew's weekly meeting with Mr. Badgie, they all came to the consensus that it would be a good idea to visit other local hospitals. This would help the team assess and compare the functionality of how other hospital systems work. It was decided that they would visit 2 hospitals in Sara Kunda and the Royal Victoria hospital in Banjul. The L.O.V.E team plans on touring and observing these hospitals for two days to just gain a better understanding of how the healthcare system in Gambia works.
Meanwhile, Tosin ran into another merchant who went by the name "Mama Africa". She was lively and very eager to see someone interested in her jewelry. Shortly after meeting Mama Africa, she referred to Tosin as her daughter and made it her duty to make sure Tosin met all of her friends and visited their shops as well. Something that stood out to Tosin was that Mama Africa kept saying "we are all family, we help each other out.” Although all of the vendors were ultimately competing for customers, there was still a sense of community.
After cautiously assessing the market (like a true statistician), Greg entered a vendors shop in order to buy a few trinkets. He displayed a very calm and cool demeanor while talking down the price of his souvenirs. Greg was able talk down the vendor of what he wanted to very reasonable prices, and he was very pleased with his performance.
Mama Africa saw Tomi and realized that Tosin was her sister and immediately made them meet her sister Nay. She quickly took it upon herself to guide them through the market and “take care of her daughters”. Mama Africa noticed Tomi and Greg talking to one another and inquired to Tomi if Greg was her husband! Tomi replied, “No” and laughed it off with a good sense of humor.
Meanwhile, the sea of vendors had submerged Lauren from the moment the L.O.V.E team walked in, and she had moved to the opposite side of the market. Lauren was pulled into many different shops by the ecstatic vendors and she ended up buying a few goodies from her new friends.
After the L.O.V.E team was finished shopping (to the dismay of the vendors) they felt a sense of friendship with the different vendors they had encountered. They reassured them that they would undoubtedly be back to buy more souvenirs. This was definitely an experience of a lifetime!! MARKET MANIA!!
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Sparking my interest in the public health field was my trip to Kenya in 2010 where I conducted HIV/AIDS testing and counseling. I'd like to not only continue but also expand on this work in The Gambia. While in The Gambia, I want to research how people view HIV/AIDS, the stigma associated with the virus, accessibility of HIV/AIDS drugs, testing methods, and the effectiveness of education materials. Thanks for your interest in our endeavor!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Hi everyone! My name is Lauren Forbes and I’m from Portland, Oregon. I recently graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S in biology and now I'm at Drexel University pursuing a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health and Prevention. I’m also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
I'm Idris Robinson from cheese steak capital of the world, Philadelphia, PA. I graduated from Virginia State University where I received my BS in Health Education. Currently I am a first-year Masters of Public Health student at Drexel University concentrating in Health Management and Policy. Among other things, I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Being a part of the oldest and most prestigious Black Greek Letter Organization, positioned me to experience firsthand several disparities that so many underserved populations are facing each day.
I am interested in doing my Community Based Masters Project in the Gambia. I will be focusing on promoting diabetes care and prevention and to help those affected by diabetes with medications and equipment which are hard to access in the Gambia. My objectives are (1) to provide resources such as medications, equipment, blood glucose meters, as well as providing information on a diabetic diet, blood glucose monitoring etc, and (2) to empower people to have control of their disease i.e through education and involving primary healthcare professionals and to make people aware of diabetes and provide counseling.
I feel very privileged to participate in this pioneer cohort for Drexel's global health expansion program. Most importantly, I am appreciative in advance for all of you are reading this that found it not robbery to support LOVE Abroad.
The infant mortality rate is estimated at 84 in 1000 live births. 60% of which is attributed to malaria, diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, neonatal sepsis and acute respiratory tract infections.
The maternal mortality ratio is 1 in 32 live births. The majority of which are due to sepsis, hemorrhage and eclampsia.