August 11

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At the Equator

Pulse Journey- At the Equator.

 

Hi all hope you are doing well. This my first blog from the equator-AfricaIMG_20150729_163619

It has been a long journey from Chennai (India) to Kampala in Uganda. It’s the first time that I have travelled out of Asia. There was lot of anxiety before I started my journey. I was wondering how the conditions will be in Africa, will I get good food, what about my safety, how I will live away from my family??.

So finally now I am in the center of the earth , yes at the Equator! It’s exciting to be at a place which you have seen only in your Geography Text books during school days.

So it’s been over a month now in Africa. To be honest the only thing I miss here is my family, friends and my kids.

Apart from that there are no shortcomings in terms of food, safety and accommodation.

And of course I have made a lot of new friends. It’s really nice to see new people and make new friends. That’s makes me feel better and that’s how life takes you to new places and makes you to meet people. Wow that’s the exciting part. Working in an office with people from different countries, cultures, languages .wow it’s wonderful.

And now a few updates on my project.

Well I work with the NGO-Clinton health access initiative, shortly called as CHAI.

CHAI works in different areas of health spectrum like HIV, MALARIA, DIARRHEA, ECM(essential child medicine) & Vaccines. I particularly work with the diarrhea team in the private sector program.

My project is to improve the access of ORS & ZINC in the private Market.

Along with Malaria and pneumonia, Diarrhea kills more than 15000 kids under the age of 5 annually in Uganda. Apart from the public sector health care facilities, nearly 50% of people seek treatment in private sector facilities. Many of them in private market cannot afford ORS & ZINC since its highly priced. Here CHAI’S strategy is help the importers get the products at a less price and to subsidize the prices of ORS & ZINC so that it’s affordable to everyone.

Primarily my project involves working with the pharmaceutical manufacturers, importers & Distributors in streamlining distribution network, strategies to bring down the prices of ORS & ZINC, strategies for rural penetration. And improving the capabilities of a team of 10 supervisors and 60 detailers and who work in different parts of Uganda and spread the message of ORS & ZINC to Health care professionals.

So far I have conducted a capability building workshop for the 10 supervisors. Now the team is more confident and they are better equipped to the face the challenges in the market.

On the distribution front, I was able to map the distributor network and the plans are ready activate the wholesaler engagement program. For mapping the distribution network and to better understand the distribution pattern I have travelled to few parts of Uganda and was able to get the pulse of the private market. I have also met few importers and manufacturers and discussed the strategies to bring down the prices of ORS & ZINC.

The project is in a very interesting phase and really excited to see how it rolls out in real time.

It’s going to be a very busy and exciting coming two months. Looking forward to the exciting days ahead.

So this is it for now and I will update you all in my future blogs..

Regards,

Syed hafiz.