Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Friends & Colleagues



Our Mission starts…


January 27, 2014…. Our VTT-Drexel members hit the ground running to see Makerere University College of Health Sciences and Mulago Hospital and to meet our colleagues that will be central to our mission… Maternal & Child Health. 




We arrived at Makerere / Mulago Hospital to meet Deo Sekimpi and he shuttles us to meet with Dr. Josaphat’s Ob-Gyn team to get a report on the births and mothers they handled over the weekend…. Over 250 births. That is more than Drexel delivers in a month… our VTT Drexel members were impressed. Here we met Dr. Mike (Ob-Gyn) and also Dr. Flavia (Pediatric) and Dorcas (Nurse / Midwifery) who will all join the VTT – Makerere back to Philadelphia in May 2014. It was so nice to place faces in email addresses !









We then proceeded to see Bob John to see the Davis Amphitheater and the MakCHS video conference room. We learned it has broadband access which taps the Makerere University trunk line that permits it to handle a lot of data.  The large amphitheater holds up to 240 people at full capacity and can internet broadcast simultaneously, voice, video and presentation materials and media while permitting audiences around the world to interact. Has hosted Grand Rounds many time with folks at Johns Hopkins and other renowned universities.   This facility will be a great asset to the collaboration between Drexel College of Medicine and College of Nursing and Makerere University.



We then visited Skills Lab were doctor and nurse students work/study together to learn about taking blood pressure and heart rate, along with more sophisticated drawing blood, giving exams of various sorts, etc.. as well as had simulators and models to develop student “hands on” skills. We met the Skills Lab supervisors and thanked them with some Drexel COM goodies.

We travelled on to what has become our local lunch spot… the Canteen friendly service in the Ugandan style.  Their Uganda food was all freshly cooked… so fresh that many times they did not “yet” have ready what you wanted…


Rotaractors from Kampala City Club


After Lunch we met with the whole MakCHS staff, the acting dean along with department chairs…. We introduced ourselves and in subsequent discussion we presented our overall mission, described the Rotary Foundation funded mission and VTT-Drexel members stressed their long term commitment to improving Maternal and Child Healthcare education. We also met up with “Sam” … Professor Sam Luboga, now retired, “sort of’… his support and behind the scene work along with Tusu Tusubira has made this project possible.  It was obvious ALL from the top down at MakCHS and Drexel COM are committed to not only make this VTT be successful, but to sustain the collaboration and the benefits to the Health Care Centers in Uganda.










We were then off to our “sister” club on this project… Kampala North Rotary Club for fellowship. A vibrant and effective Rotary club… of 26 years… only one year after our Blue Bell Rotary Club. A 75 member plus club with many women and a diverse membership from many professions and important institutions around Kampala. A great meeting, met a lot of new friends and some optional contacts to help the VTT-Drexel members on this visit and or to help the project and over the next 3 years as we apply for future Global Grants to support new VTT’s  RC Kampala North has 6 Global Grant projects with 10 – 12 members helping each project. Our Maternal Child Health ( MCH ) project is utilizing more than 10 of them members with logistics, transportation, hotels. We were receive warmly and met Candace from the Rotary Foundation in Evanston IL who has been in Uganda for 2 weeks already following up on 3 Global Grant projects that ran in Uganda.

RC Kampala ran a great Rotary meeting and our VTT-Drexel learned more and more how Rotary meets and how it does all the things it does around the world… the were impressed… a few dosed a bit since ject lag and a 12 hour day as catching up with us…




A GREAT day a GREAT start… I am so proud of our VTT-Drexel and all the connections being made… after Day 1 I could see our VTT was gelling as well-meaning people around the world ALL speak the same “language” and are all on the same team, immediately.  What a good feeling we all had that we have something special and that we are about to create and sustain something that is special … and if successful and break new ground in global health care education while we address health care directly in small, more  community health centers…
At these moments… one knows why we are in Rotary !


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