Archive for May, 2009

T minus 7 days

May 22, 2009

The exodus of my expat friends from this place continues, and I will join their ranks soon enough. One week from today I leave Uganda. I intend to spend time updating my blog now and throughout June detailing experiences and trips. So very many to share.

In the meantime, I continue to work on SAS analysis of a data set looking at TB recurrence and alcohol use in preparation for a scientific poster, drafting portions of the paper based on study results of the trial on which I have been coordinator, and organizing myself for re-entry to the U.S. Goodbye parties and last minute shopping dot the calendar as well.

As after many experiences in life, I think “home” and time will show me how this year has changed me. Suffice it to say, I think a substantial change occurred.

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SEHC Week of Action – Makerere University

May 14, 2009

I had the chance to participate in 2 of the 6 days of the Makerere University Students for Equity in Health Care (SEHC) chapters’ Week of Action. Its main objective was “to pass on the knowledge and skills acquired from the East Africa Health and Human Rights Leadership Institute to the health professional students under training.”

Speakers spoke about health & human rights connections on Monday and Tuesday. I presented “Advocacy: Successes and Challenges” on Wednesday, May 6 using the 10 Steps of Advocacy template Physician for Human Rights (PHR) taught me and then mapping each step to my recent involvement with the anti-TB medication stock-out campaign.

On Thursday, I attended AGHA (Action Group for Health, Human Rights, and HIV/AIDS) advocacy officer Roselyn Davina Vusia’s presentation “Health and Human Rights Status Quo, Gaps, and Way Forward in Uganda. She discussed relevant international and national law to capture the scope of the legal right to health. She then gave an overview on the elements of a right to health: Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability, and Quality (AAAQ). At the end of her talk, SEHC leadership demonstrated “equity” as they put it. The SEHC Medical chapter distributed medical supply donations from U.S. PHR Leadership Institute participants Neil Chalwa and Mona Singh to the 3 health professional schools, Anatomy Department, and Microbiology Department.

Medical, nursing, and paramedical students went to Katanga BEUPA school on Friday afternoon for a tour and to give some school supplies. Saturday night SEHC held a fundraiser dinner at the Jeliza Hotel. A few local officials from Katanga were invited as well as the teachers. I left to do some work in Kenya on Friday, so I had to miss Friday and Saturday events unfortunately. Hopefully, Herbert Kayonga, out-going SEHC medical president can write a comment to this post on how Friday and Saturday went. Stay tuned…

As PHR-Loyola chapter president in 2007, I had no idea that I would be able to one day see the SEHC Week of Action at some point, a cause our chapter fundraised for that year during our own AIDS Week of Action.