Arrived in Lome!

19 05 2012

Hi everyone!

I have been in Togo, a small country on the western coast of Africa, for less than 24 hours and am already intrigued by the bustling city of Lome. Last night we had our first dinner in the heart of the city, sitting at a table on the side of the street and munching on freshly roasted chicken and Togolese salad (deduced to consist of lettuce, spaghetti, beets, hard boiled eggs) bought from nearby stands. It was the perfect opportunity to soak in the sights, smells and tastes of the city I will be living in for the next eight weeks!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kelly Andrejko and I am a rising junior, pre-med and studying neuroscience and global health at Duke. Thanks to generous grants from DGHI and the Duke Center for International Studies,  I will be spending the next eight weeks in Lome- residing with a host family, and conducting research on the prevalence of traditional medicines in Lome in conjunction with shadowing in a local hospital.

Duke students in the past have already demonstrated the overwhelming presence of traditional medicines in the northern rural villages of Togo; with the seasonal north-south migration of peoples, it is not unexpected many of the northern medical traditions will flow into the city as well.  However, as there is also more proximate access to biomedical healthcare facilities, such as the hospital I will be working in, it has not been determined how often residents in Lome seek biomedical care versus care from traditional healers.  There are many different ways to approach this project: What percentage of care is received from a doctor versus a healer? What relationships exist between patients and their doctors/healers? What symptoms provoke a visit to the hospital instead of a healer? What are the payment methods involved in the two systems of care? What relationships exist between culture and treatment? I’ll be sure to have my hands full! At the end of my project, I intend to present my findings to the doctors and healers I have been communicating with, hoping that my data will help them better understand and treat their patients.

Due to the slower internet in the cafe’s here, I am unsure of how often I will be able to post on the blog, but I will try my best to keep those of you interested posted on my project.

Au Revoir!

Kelly

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One response

30 05 2012
Jordan Gulli

Kelly,
It’s Jordan!!!! I’m creeping on your blog right now. Sounds fun. Hows the host family?

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