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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Early Childhood Development

Worldwide, more than 10 million children under age 5 die every year.  Many of these children die of malnutrition due to a lack of access to the nutrition that is necessary for their growing minds and bodies.  The vast majority of children and pregnant women in the Gambia are iodine deficient, which causes severe health and developmental problems.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Diabetes in The Gambia

In the industrialized countries diabetes is regarded as a common disease which, thanks to the well-structured health system can be successfully treated, Africa is facing a diabetes epidemic. According to information provided by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in some parts of Africa up to 30% of the population has disturbed glucose tolerance. At the same time insulin is not available to the majority of people affected with diabetes, as the African health care system uses the largest part of the funds for fighting AIDS and malaria.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Child and Maternal Health Issues

Bacterial infections and childbirth-related pelvic damage are especially common in women in rural Gambia. Fewer than HALF of the women with symptoms seek care, often because of anxiety and lack of knowledge.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Who You Are Supporting - Greg

Hey all! My name is Greg Bond and I hail from Baltimore, Maryland. I attended University of Maryland, College Park for my undergraduate degree where I studied Kinesiology. Here at Drexel, I am pursuing a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology.

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

Who You Are Supporting - Lauren

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’ll be going to the Gambia because there is a critical need for public health outreach in the region, and as public health students, we have a unique opportunity to assist in meeting that need.  Maternal and Child Health, cross-cultural medicine and community development are the areas that I am most interested in and plan to focus on.  While in the Gambia, I’ll be working with the community health outreach sector, looking at the status of maternal mental health and early childhood development.  Through my work there, I hope to help contribute to the effectiveness and sustainability of MCH programs in the region.  This experience will not only be an invaluable growth opportunity for me personally and professionally, but it will also provide support for public health in the Gambia and facilitate lasting partnerships in the country.

To everyone who has supported us thus far, whether it was through a monetary donation or simply a word of encouragement, each and every one of you has helped to make this possible!  Thank you for your support!

Who You Are Supporting - Idris

Hey Guys!

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.

Thanks! 06


Many women, babies, and children die because of inadequate health care. In Gambia, over two-thirds of the deaths that occur take place during labor or shortly after delivery.

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.

Who You Are Supporting!? -- Tosin

Hi yall!! My name is Tosin Seriki, I come from the great state of Texas! I graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Biology. I am part of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.; which helped stimulate my drive to serve all of mankind. I heard about the weServe program through the Global Health Initiative at Drexel. When I heard about the opportunity to go abroad and help start public health programs in Gambia, I was so motivated to be a part of it. My concentration is Health Management and Policy and I want to help manage a screening program for expecting mothers, while in Gambia. I am so excited to have been granted this once in a lifetime opportunity, and it would mean so much to me and my classmates if you would help support us! Thank you so much for your time! xoxox

WHO You Are Supporting -Tomi

Hello Everyone!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out our blog. My name is Tomi and I am from Arlington, Texas!!!! I graduated from Cornell University in 2009 with a B.S. in Human Biology, Health & Society, and I am currently at Drexel University getting my Masters in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Management & Policy. I have always had a strong passion and interest in global health, so when the opportunity to participate in this trip came about I did not hesitate. While in Gambia I hope to focus my efforts on maternal and child health, and how health care can be improved to better serve the Gambian community. Thank you for your support and if you can please please please DONATE and help us make this trip happen. Help us spread L.O.V.E. Abroad :)

WHERE are we going?

Gambia is located on the West African coast. It is bordered on the North, South and East by the Republic of Senegal and on the West by the Atlantic Ocean. The population is estimated around 1.7 million, and about 60% of the population lives in rural areas. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Help Us Help

Your tokens of support adds one more piece to the puzzle. #spreadLOVEabroad

Friday, March 2, 2012

We LOVE Support!

Had a meeting with Stephen Cox (from the provost office)! Our support keeps growing and growing!

l-r from top to bottom
Greg Bond
Stephen Cox
Idris Robinson
Lauren Forbes
Tosin Seriki
Tomi Seriki

The LOVE Team

So we figured it would be smart to let you know who exactly LOVE Abroad is. Well here we are standing in front of the Mario statue on main campus at Drexel University! 

FROM l to r
Tomi Seriki
Greg Bond
Tosin Seriki
Idris Robinson
Lauren Forbes

Thursday, March 1, 2012

LOVE For All

Welcome to LOVE Abroad!!!

L.O.V.E. Abroad
Leading Outreach through Volunteer Endeavors

We are 5 Drexel School of Public Health students trying to go to Gambia this summer to work on our Community Based Master's Project. We are very excited about this opportunity. Stay tuned and follow us on our journey.