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

Building, Bridging, & Bonding

Last week the L.O.V.E. Abroad team separated. Tomi and Idris accompanied Shirin and Dr. Allen on their first trekking endeavor. They left early in the morning to meet Mr. Badgie, CEO of Sulayman Junkung General Hospital. While touring SJGH they were introduced to the hospital procedures and operations, as well as visited the medical school where past WeServe participants set up the virtual library for e-learning and other telecommunication. Shirin and Dr. Allen also saw the library that was implemented by the first WeServe participants. After the hospital tour, the group went trekking in Kanilai. Dr. Allen was taken back by the many idle machines that could have been used by the trekking staff. When Tomi and Idris asked both Shirin and Dr. Allen about their overall thoughts of their experience, they responded by saying they were astounded by the staffs resourcefulness. It was nice for the L.O.V.E. members to see their Drexel colleagues experience similar situations that they had been accustomed to!

The second half of the L.O.V.E. team  (Greg, Lauren, and Tosin) assisted Dr. Marquez in a meeting with The University of The Gambia (UTG). The whole UTG administration team, press, and faculty was in attendance including the Gambia newspaper, the Daily Observer. The L.O.V.E. team was amazed to find out that Dr. Marquez had previously taught many of the faculty and administration that now run the University including the head of the public health department. The purpose of the meeting was to sign a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the relationship with the Drexel University’s partnership with the University of The Gambia. The event was so important to the Gambian community, it was a featured section in The Observer (a popular local newspaper) where some of the L.O.V.E. team members were pictured at the signing ceremony.

The meeting led to a collaboration dinner to introduce all participating university’s including the University of Iowa, Drexel University, and University of The Gambia. During this dinner, the L.O.V.E. Abroad team was able to mingle with other students from Iowa and South Dakota and hear about their experiences and work within the Gambia. The whole team, as well as the entire Drexel faculty, was able to share their purpose and goals in working with the University of The Gambia.

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