[Photo: Gemsbok in Karoo National Park, South Africa]
I am an Adult, Adolescent, and Child Psychiatrist and a Psychoanalyst. I am currently a Global Health Service Partnership volunteer. GHSP is a Peace Corps Response-Seed Global Health program, funded in part by PEPFAR (The President’s Emergency Program For AIDS Relief) for health care professionals to teach in colleges of nursing and medicine in 5 African countries: Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Swaziland. The first volunteers came in 2012. The program is for a year, although an extension of another year is possible. I am assigned to the College of Medicine and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (+1300 beds) in Blantyre, Malawi.
I like and believe in the program because, unlike many other aid programs it doesn’t provide money or equipment or simply fill gaps in clinical services. It supplements teaching to improve health care so nationals of each country can have an augmented educational experience which they can then use as physicians and nurses (including nurse midwives) there/here. In that way, it is the ultimate in sustainability, passing knowledge and skills to those living here.
I have started my 2nd year. Among other reasons, I couldn’t think of anything at home as intriguing to do or with such potential impact. And I am getting the hang of it.
This blog is simply a recording of my thoughts, feelings, impressions, and experiences here—a public diary, if you will.