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Archive for January 29th, 2010

On Monday 25th January, I started off on the team of a Global Fund funded National Anti-malaria chain distribution survey. Not to bore you with the details, Global Fund is about gifting us over 250million dollars worth of anti-malarias (ACTs) as well as Rapid Diagnostic Test kits (RDTs) and ahead of the arrival of the goodies they want to know how anti-malarial are distributed from the port to the final needy sick fellow in the remotest part of the country with the view to designing a system that would ensure that this new ship load of ACTs & RDTs achieve their aim for hitting sea.

This is not the first time Global Fund and indeed any international NGO would be sending us free drugs. Trusting however that as receivers we would not only happily receive but ensure effective distribution of these drugs to the benefit of our people, they have often allowed us to use our own systems to distribute it. The result has been colossal waste of resources and ultimate failure of such schemes. This time around they don’t want to leave it to us.

So happily I signed up. It’s a highly motivated team comprising of seasoned consultants and some of us rookies who were in no way less enthusiastic about what we had signed up to. On hand to provide technical training and direction were Leah and Jessica (two amiable consultants with Village Reach USA), as well as the equally amiable Ashifi Gogo of Sproxil.

Project Objectives spelt out, our roles defined, our tools provided we set out to Minna, Niger State on Wednesday 27th (after two days of intensive training) to do a pilot of the survey.

I wouldn’t be publishing our findings in the pilot. I would only say it was quite interesting. Now I am charged up ready to storm the North Western States of Nigeria, Seven states in all to carry out the real deal. First stop would be the seat of the Caliphate Sokoto.

Before I am done (sometime in the 2nd week of March) I would have breezed through Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna and Niger State. I would have become more Nigerian than I currently am, seeing and feeling the diverse cultures and religions of Nigeria. I would have felt temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius. I would have gotten beaten by mosquitoes of the northern species. I would have perhaps ridden on a carmel and drank fresh fura da nunu

Most importantly however, I would have played a great role in helping my fellow citizens- people I don’t know, people of a different tongue and creed, people who perhaps might not think twice before sending a sharp knife through my neck in some senseless religious riots- people who however have a right to life, assess free medication that would help them live better lives. For this, I am proud and enthusiastic.

As I hit the air and roads as the case may be along with my colleagues on Sunday, I hope to make out time at the end of the hectic daily schedule to blog on my journey and talk about my experiences. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I would enjoy posting them.

Round and round Nigeria I go. Wish me a safe trip.

Sylva

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