October 05

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“Don’t cross the bridge before you come to it”

 

A few days ago I was thinking about how I could start this post. And why is that? Because I heard Mariajo talking about it in my last meeting in GSK and I think that it describes my feeling in the last months. I am now starting a new PULSE assignment in Ghana, and although I know previous PULSE who have been here before (Kendal and Nela, thank you for your help during all this time), I didn´t know how I would find it here, and I preferred not to think too much about it until the moment came.

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That moment has come, and now I should start thinking about it. First, I would like to start with some background about the project. In my first meeting with Yanis I start to know the meaning of Millenium Village Promise

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http://millenniumvillages.org/millenniumpromise/

“By transforming science and technology into effective local-level development, Millennium Promise seeks to accelerate sustainable development across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond”

I am now in Ashanti, a rural area close to Kumais, in the Bonsaaso cluster where we can find one of the first platforms of the Millenium Village Promise.foto-1

One of the biggest issues here is the access to the area, because the villages are separated by several kilometers and the roads are very bad, especially in the rainy season

As you can see, Tropical Laboratory Initiative (TLI) is also collaborating with MVP and I’m going to be working with them. Let me show you the place and introduce you to the team:

My colleagues in the TLI team: Francis and Atta.

Nela and Francis set up the laboratory (Nela, I’m sure this brings back a lot of memories. Francis and Atta are the team from the Tropical Laboratory Initiative (TLI), together with Yanis, the person in charge of my PULSE assignment and who is working from New York (Earth Institute). This is the reference laboratory for several clinics from Bonsaaso Cluster (Ashanti) and this is where their diagnoses are confirmed. The system is quite interesting, because they can confirm diagnoses received from distant clinics via mobile on the same day (this system works pretty well here, seriously). I will explain it in more detail in future posts, but first I’ll leave you here a presentation that Yanis did about this initiative that can give you more information (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac8a_Pp4K7c ).

Now I will write about my first days in Africa, how I feel and how I can contribute.Here I am before leave Spain.

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First of all, this is my first time in Africa and I have mixed feelings: I have fears and joy at the same time, this is Africa. The country is really different and I suppose that it is not going to be easy for me to adapt here (but, as I say before, “Don’t cross the bridge before you come to it”). People are really friendly and help me a lot with my transition. Ghana is a wonderful country, especially the area where I’m goint to live. Here are some pictures of my first impression of Africa:

Accra

Kumasi

Ashanti

 

So far I can only say that everything is so different! I look around and I try to figure out how I’m going to fit here and how I’m going to be of any help… I will write about my experiences in future posts… and I’ll find the time  (although time flies! ).

Finally, I would like to thank all the people who are supporting me during my journey:

  • The people from GSK Accra (Mark and Gieneveva) and their team.
  • My team here, Francis and Atta, and, of course, Hajira (MVP), who has helped me with all the logistics. .

And thanks also to all my friends and people from GSK with whom I’m still in contact and who always look after me and have helped me with the preparation all these last months.

Too long…I hope the next one will be shorter…if you want to see the Spanish version go to

https://pablocastanedaghana.wordpress.com/

ME DAA SEE ( Thank you in Twy)