Welcome to 🇬🇭 Ghana

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Finally, my PULSE assignment begins. I will be working with the Tropical Lab Initiative in Tontokrom, Ghana. TLI is an integrated program improving the diagnostic capacity of rural, remote settings in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to treatable infectious diseases. Since making the application in January, I have been thinking about what it will feel like, what I will be doing and most importantly, what to take with me. The less weight you carry, the more mobile you are, but I allowed myself a few luxuries; a guide to business etiquette in Ghana, yoga mat, and Travel Scrabble amongst them. What has been humbling already is the hospitality from the GSK folk in Accra where I spent a couple of nights acclimatising. It’s great to feel that I have their support whilst such a long way from home.  Thanks to Mark, Genevieve, Benedicta and Joshua. Today, Friday*, I travelled on the bus to Kumasi, Ghana’s second city. This is much more exciting than the number 21 up the Old Kent Road. The conductor checks tickets, prays with everyone for a safe journey, tells jokes, and sells herbal remedy. The GSK hospitality continued in Kumasi. I was met by Clement and Evans, 2 Pharmacy graduates working for GSK as sales reps. It’s amazing to meet the people at the end of the Product Development process. Over coffee, we swapped stories about what we do and the challenges we face. To reach patients here, products need to be low cost without special storage conditions. A message I will definitely be taking back with me.

On Monday I head to Manso Nkwanta and Tontokrom to start my work with TLI. More posts to follow. Robert.

*Friday = Kofi in the Twi language.

11 comments

  1. Hi Rob, I’m happy to hear that you’ve arrived in Gh already and settling in. I’m sure you’re bus trip from Accra to Kumasi was fun. Well, be happy for the bus culture in GH: prayers, preaching and sale of some herbal preparation purported to cure every ailment on earth :). Happy to hear you’ve already started gathering insight on how to incorporate the VOC in our product development. Best wishes in your stay in Ghana

  2. So exciting to hear stories from Ghana! Brings back so many good memories. Hope you continue to experience the wonderful hospitality of the country.

    1. Ciao Deborah, grazie per la tua messagio. Mi ricordo, sarai nel’italia per la tua (assignment) ? Buona fortunata a te anche! Spero parliamo un ‘po per praticare il mio brutto Italiano. Roberto

  3. Glad to hear you arrived safety and it sounds like you’re experiencing the culture already. I look forward to hearing how your assignment goes and learning more Twi words! Good luck and take care, Laura

  4. Hi Robert, glad that you reached Ghana safely. Look forward to future posts about your experience and TLI! Best of luck in everything.

  5. Hi, great to hear you are enjoying the African culture and hospitality. I look forward to hearing about your experience, insights and progress with your assignment. Reading your blog bought back fond memories of my first few days acclimatising in Ethiopia.

  6. Good to hear the Travel Scrabble took priority in the luggage Rob 👍🏻. What lies ahead – that is the question!!?

  7. Sounds interesting. What is your accommodation? How will you get around? I will follow your experience with interest and hope to eventually get together one summer in Blighty…

  8. Hi Robert. Hope it’s all going well. Sorry not to leave you a message on your birthday, but many happy returns. Alex is just back from two weeks in Beijing which was quite a culture (and food) shock. Looking forward to your next update. Jane

  9. Great to hear about your experience and the support you have received from fellow GSK workers. Your reference to low cost medicines and storage conditions really resonated with me. Look forward to hearing more from you.

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