November 24

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It’s been moment of ‘Thanksgiving’ all the way on this experience….

Happy thanksgiving to you all especially my US folks – may we always have cause to give thanks.

It’s been a while since my last blog. I want to start by apologizing for the delay as I said in one of my previous blogs – this experience has been like a roller coaster ride. Some days you are like “wow, I am enjoying this ride so much” and some days you are like “stop this ride and get me outta here!”…haha!!.

But as you can see from my 3-in-1 featured image – through it all, I am enjoying the moment and I still so thank-FULL for this opportunity.

So a lot has happened on both work and social front since my last blog …. from helping to co-ordinate stakeholders review meeting to finalize the Postpartum Family planning (PPFP) National training curriculum; to my visit to one of the ancient cities in Nigeria (Ibadan); to my visit to the 2 GSK site located in Nigeria; to my field visit to one of the focal states to support the PPFP cascade training for the healthcare workers…etc

So please follow me as I share some of these experiences with you…

—The stakeholders’ meeting was organized by CHAI to engage the NGO partners and the federal ministry of health (FMOH) in reviewing and providing feedback on the PPFP National training curriculum which was being developed by 2 medical consultants with support from CHAI. This 4 days meeting was attended by representatives from FMOH, CHAI and about 7 NGO partners present in Nigeria. Each day the meeting room was filled with about 20 family planning experts who deliberated on the different topics outlined in the 11 modules of each of the (1) Participants reference book, (2) Trainers manual and (3) Training slide pack for the Doctors, Nurses, Midwives (DNM) and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS). By the end of this intense 4 days meeting, a total of 6 documents (3 for DNM and 3 for CHEWS) were reviewed. The comments to be addressed were agreed upon and communicated to the medical consultants. I volunteered to be the point of contact between the review team and the consultants. I have since been working closely with consultants to ensure these 6 documents are finalized and approved prior the PPFP training for healthcare workers which proposed for end of 4Q2016 or 1Q2017.

—I visited the city of Ibadan on invitation from a consultant who I had liaised with on a African 20/20 (Pillar 2 – Pack Optimization) project. This was really exciting for me, as I actually lived my early years in Ibadan; but I never had the opportunity to go on a tour of the city before I relocated from Nigeria.

Ibadan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibadan) is the capital of Oyo state located in the south-western part of Nigeria. Ibadan is the country’s largest city by geographical area. Ibadan has been the center of administration of the old western region since the British colonial rule and parts of the city’s ancient monuments still stand till this date. Ibadan is a city scattered between 7 hills. The inhabitants of Ibadan city are mostly Yoruba.

taken-from-top-of-oke-aremo

Overhead view of city of Ibadan

During my 1 day trip, I visited a couple of historical place – (1) Mapo Hall – this is the colonial style city hall perched on top of a hill called “Oke Mapo” (Oke means hill in Yoruba). Mapo Hall was commissioned during the colonial era of Captain Ross in 1929 and has since been renovated in 2006 (2) Bower memorial Tower – this distinctive architecture is the highest point in Ibadan and can be seen from any point in the city. It is located to the east of the city on Oke Aare = Aare’s Hill (Aare means commander- in- chief in Yoruba). Bowers Tower was erected in 1936 in honor of Captain Robert Lister Bower – who was the 1st British resident in Ibadan (3) Agodi Gardens – is a tourist attraction with over 150 acres of land and contains a botanical garden, usually patronized by families during festive periods and weekends

 

— I visited the 2 GSK sites located in the south-western part of Nigeria with the other GSK PULSE 2016 volunteers. This visit was right after GSK’s completion of the divestment of soft drinks (Ribena and Lucozade) to Suntory Beverage and Food Ltd (SBF). Hence, the atmosphere around both sites was still one of getting use to the fact that 2 different companies are now co-located in the same site.

visit-to-gsk-ilupeju-1

The 1st day of our visit was to the consumer healthcare office at Ilupeju, Lagos state. We were hosted by the interim General Manager of GSK Nigeria and a number of leaders on the site – we had a session going through the GSK consumer brand – management structure, next steps after the divestment, African 20/20 strategy etc. We were taken on the tour of the offices; meet a number of GSK colleagues and it was good to place faces to names of some of the people I had worked with on the Africa 20/20 project.

The 2nd day we had over an hour drive from the hotel to the manufacturing site located at Agbara in Ogun State. The 1st thing we noticed was the Suntory logo at the gate and the security at the gate asking which company we are visiting as there was demarcation of parking areas allocated to the 2 companies. We were hosted by the GSK site director and some of the GMS team leads. The information about the site before and after the divestment with regards to manufacturing and office area was shared with us (Agbara site after divestment is now about 30 GSK and 70 Suntory). Also, we were told that there is number of strategy/ plans ongoing to expand the consumer business in the very near future. We were then taken on the tour of the manufacturing area and it was really exciting to witness Ribena manufacturing line in progress. But the consumer manufacturing line was not in progress during our visit but we were able to see some packaging work being done.

Sure you are still following me haha!!

— So the last one for now is: my field visit to support the PPFP training of the healthcare worker in one of the focal states. As I mentioned in my previous blog, that part of my objectives on this assignment is to develop some Information Education Communication (IEC) materials that will be rolled out during the training. So I was very excited to have the opportunity to go on this field visit to support the cascade training and also to see how some these materials are being put to use in the different the facilities.

 

As I start to wind down – I must say the past 5 months has really been a blessing and a live changing experience. And I will do this all over again if given another opportunity haha:)

Once again Happy Thanksgiving y’all _ God bless!!