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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Week 3

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.  

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