4th of July 2010


What good tidings I have received since the middle of June!

First, I was invited to attend a workshop in monitoring and evaluation by NANASO. I almost did not end up going, or so I thought. NANASO (Network of AIDS Service Organizations on Namibia) stipulated that only one person from each organization (AIDS service organization) could attend. I decided to nominate myself as a member of the HIV Clinicians Society, the only organization I am a member of that deals with HIV and AIDS (at least directly).  Elizabeth, who works at the HIV SOC, offices and who is very kind also wanted to go. So then I thought I would do the noble thing and let her go instead of me, after all I had a Princeton education and one M & E workshop would probably be more useful to Elizabeth than to me. I psyched myself up to not go and I was ready to move.

But I was still chosen to go! I went with Elizabeth, we both went because Elizabeth went as a member of Intrahealth – the organization she actually works for (she just helps out at HIV SOC). Unexpected and delightful. What was even more unexpected though, was to learn that HIV SOC does not fall under NANASO, because it deals with clinicians – people in health facilities – rather than organizations – people work outside health facilities in the community ( a term for people who live in a particular area and share common problems and aspirations).

Today I gave a presentation at the HIV SOC executive committee meeting. I came in with the idea of starting a newsletter for the society where case studies and medical anthropological commentaries could be shared. “How much time are you planning to spend on this project?” they asked me “A lot of time” I replied. “Well then send us your presentation and we will make notes about other newsletters we know and that we like for clinicians.” They gave me the go ahead to write a grant proposal. This is awesome.

Even more awesome is that I am official “Marketing Officer” in the EXEC committee.

I did not manage to reach the “officer” position when I was a member of the Student Global AIDS Campaign chapter at Princeton, always too busy with something to commit, and now here I am they just asked me and I am. All I have to do is look at their website and see what needs updating get them a government gazette so they can award physicians with CPD point (Continuous Professional Development).

There is another workshop I will be attending, about peer training in HIV programs. I was invited by Penduka Namibia, an organization that enables women to cope with the onslaught of infectious diseases on Namibia. That will be July 15th. The reason I was invited is because Evelyn, who works there, was one of my “students.”  I ran a GRE Math Prep “class” – what they called a class but I called “study group”- at her house.

Speaking of the GRE, one of my priorities this July, today is the 4th of July happy independence day USA, is to do three GRE practice tests. Two for July and one carried over from June, which I missed because I was at the workshop.

GRE stands for the Graduate Record Examination and I am inching closer to graduate school, day by day. I am applying for graduate school, that is a masters, in South Africa, as the WITS Public Health School. They have an epidemiology program with three possible tracks, all of which are imbued in research – what I want. I am applying for two scholarships to finance this: One from the Canon Collins Trust for Education Southern Africa, a historic movement to offer educational opportunities to Namibian and South African students during the apartheid era which has now available to the whole of the SADC region. The other one is a scholarship from the Ministry of Health, which is yet to be advertised. It will be from the Malaria division of the Directorate of Special Programs and will be specifically for epidemiology or entomology, the fields that are relevant for malaria. “That should be no problem for you” said Janine who works at the American Cultural Center. I was sporting the “certified copy” of my bachelor degree from Princeton that I had done at the US Embassy for a whopping U$ 30. I need it to apply to WITS because, surprisingly, they do not know about Princeton. The deadline for applying to WITS is approaching and I need to write my statement of intent!

What I need to do know is something that is related to malaria to pique my interest in the field and to make myself a more desirable candidate for that scholarship. But as Tessa Brown, one of my friends who is a creative write and who I absolutely adore said, I am not “a sterile resume builder.” Well in any case, I need to read something about malaria. I remember reading that Duffy article, on how the lack of expression of the Duffy receptor on erythrocytes is no longer a barrier to Plasmodium vivax. I scarcely remember much more from that article, I read it May, except that the salient finding that P.vivax was demonstrated by both PCR and Giemsa stains to infect red blood cells that were hitherto thought to be resistant. Let me reread it then. I can also go to national science week at the University of Namibia and get inspiration there.

So then I have my priorities for the this week:

  1. Read about Malaria and GRE corrections
  2. GRE, practice test (obtain Government Gazette in Town while you are at it).
  3. Write personal statement for WITS
  4. Go to Nat Sci Week
  5. Finish Personal statement for WITS


Mira, los números representan los días de la semana. Uno es el lunes, dos el martes y etcétera etcétera. Lo que he escribido es lo importante que se debería hacer. Por supuesto, habrá otras cosas de hacer, pero las puedo hacer alrededor, mientras que hago los principales. Vale, tengo un sueño a que no puedo resistir, pero al mismo tiempo, quiero escribir sobre más cosas, como ganar más medallas de prevención. Sobre la pagina de EL PAÍS, hace dos días, vi un publicidad de prevención de VIH para los hombres que tienen sexo con otros hombres. “ Te proteges frente al VIH, Porta una medalla (muestrando una foto de un hombre llevando un preservativo pink de un rainbow necklace.”


About writinghealth

Wannabe Epidemiologist? Wannabe med anthro person? I guess. Christian, scientist (not Christian scientist), i mean like I studied molecular biology and I part of the RC Church. I also completed a Masters of Public Health, at the University of Cape Town, in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
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