Author Archives: paulgwannamaker

The Change Within

“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”  –  Ralph Waldo Emerson “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  –  Marcel Proust Has it really been over 20 weeks?  At times, it has been hard- very hard.  But now […]

October 21

PULSE Awareness Week

Last week, the GSK Nigeria team kindly hosted a PULSE awareness session and invited me to speak to them.  Along with Hyacinth Okpechi, another 2013 PULSE volunteer from the Agbara GSK site here in Nigeria who is currently working in Santa Monica, CA, we spoke to a group of GSK employees at the ilupeju, Lagos […]

August 19

Too Easy?

It is axiomatic that living in the developing world is hard work.  When you’re coming from the “developed” world, things just seem more difficult. Having been in Abuja, Nigeria now for a couple of months, you get used to some of the challenges of life here: that the power can be intermittent, that the generators […]

August 01

A Day In The Life

So, what is a day in the life here like? Well, not surprisingly, it can vary a lot. This week, we had some visitors in town for a meeting. You may know from my previous blogs that the major project I’m working on has to do with Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention, a WHO-recommended strategy to treat […]

July 24


Greetings to all! Having been in Nigeria for over a month now, I can look back and reflect on my experiences so far with a slightly new perspective. To be honest, I was worried when I found out that I’d been placed in Nigeria for my PULSE assignment, and especially in a large city. Wasn’t […]

July 12

Meeting the Boss

Charles Nelson, CEO of the Malaria Consortium arrived this week for a visit to the Abuja office as well as some site visits throughout Nigeria.  My PULSE colleague, Moaz Ibrahim, and I had the opportunity to chat with him.  You’ll never guess where he got his start…  yes, GSK (back in the SmithKline Beecham days).  […]

July 09

Settling In

Now starting Week 3!  Happily, settling in and actually moved out of the hotel.  Sounds glamorous living in a hotel for two weeks?  Ummm… not so much.  Aside from the plumbing issues (or perhaps lack of plumbing might be a better way to put it) and the creepy crawlies (should have anticipated this when I […]

June 29

Greetings from Abuja!

I arrived in Abuja on Saturday for my 6 month assignment! So excited to get started- and then arrived at the airport and realized that, oh yeah, this is going to be different.  I managed to find my driver and made a call to my NGO contact  She confirmed that I was indeed in the […]

June 19

Goodbye, Adios, Adieu, Arrivederci, Auf Weidersehen, Totsiens, Do svidania, Sayōnara, Namaste, Aloha

The time has come for goodbye.  Well, really “farewell,” or “until we meet again.”  I have to admit that the last couple of months have been really difficult- finishing up work and feeling like it has taken over my life, but ultimately coming through it and feeling pretty good about how the projects were left.  […]


We all have many communities of which we’re a part- family, friends, churches, civic groups, work groups, and more, and these communities are often in a state of flux; we are joining new communities, leaving others, and others are changing beyond our control. By joining PULSE, I’ve added another community, and I met some of […]


There are so many things that I’m looking forward to with this assignment!  At the top of the list is the ability to make a difference in a way more direct than I do in my “normal” job, where the combined impact of a large team can have a significant difference for many patients, but […]


Welcome to my Blog!  On here, I’ll post updates on my PULSE experience preparing for, during, and following my experience working for Malaria Consortium in Abuja, Nigeria.  I’ll be helping to write and disseminate the country strategy as well as setting up governance procedures for their research, prevention and treatment efforts to minimize the impact […]