How do you wrap up 6 months of work in a final blog? You don’t. You talk about perspectives and knowledge you have gained for the last 6 months. Learning to live in a third world country and working with an organization that does not work for profit are two of the biggest challenges of my life. They were also two of the best. Going into a 6 month fellowship can be an intimidating experience, but worth so much more in the end.
Working on health issues in Eastern Africa with PharmAccess, a non-profit based out of the Netherlands, was an opportunity to learn about the culture of the local community as well as the culture of the European influence. Many countries in Africa are served by non-profit organizations built to develop tools and skills to promote health and wellness to underserved communities. An added flare of external intervention with knowledge already gained. For my project, drug quality in the supply chain was the main focus. Determining the challenges that exist in controlling drug quality gaps in the supply chain became an evaluation of the entire supply chain from manufacturing to patient delivery. Challenges range from political control, acceptance of standards, cost, and dependability of sources. Focusing on the end user was the goal, and working with the local Tanzanian office of PharmAccess proved valuable to providing critical information and introductions. Once evaluations were complete, recommendations were made and a process developed to move the systems forward. Fellowship for 2013 will drive the initiative further with implementation of recommendations and project research. The knowledge gained from 6 months of research and development will provide deliverable results to the underserved populations in sub-Saharan Africa. These results are the culmination of hard work and determination to help build stronger communities that are sustainable with local resources.