Cindi and I have just returned home from attending a 2 week course on Global Public Health offered by the University of West Virginia Medical School. It is part of their Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler’s Health program. This was just the first module of an 8 week course, but did we learn a lot of great stuff! Classes were 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and covered such great topics as malnutrition, prevention of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, use of vaccines, mosquito control, water and sanitation, growth monitoring for children, family planning, prenatal and perinatal care for the mother and baby, community involvement in third world clinics, and so much more. We are really jazzed about all we learned. Every night we would discuss what we learned and take notes during dinner.
In October, we are returning to the Ngomi (Mali) maternity/medical clinic that we built 3 years ago. Because of the recent unrest there, this is our first trip back since construction. In our absence, the clinic has been on “autopilot” with Mr. Amadou Kone watching over things for us. Now, finally we will have a chance to personally evaluate how the clinic is functioning and see what it’s needs are. We are anxious to meet with the nurse midwives to see how they are doing, as well as meet with community leaders to see what the most pressing needs of the community are. Do need to set up systems in the clinic such as inventory, charting, growth monitoring, and so on? There is no primary school in Ngomi. How does the community feel about starting one verses expanding the abilities of the clinic with the money available? What about a jobs creation project for local women? Can we meet with the local Minister of Health? There is so much to find out and do. Now this IS exciting!