Team Togo

After only a few days of being home I still can’t believe that I just got back from three weeks in Ghana and Togo. It was a whirlwind experience, but I learned so much and really enjoyed working with our wonderful UW team. This was a great experience as a primer for my service in Peace Corps next year in Togo. In many ways it helped me get a better understanding of what living in Togo will be like.
I learned so much working in the clinics. Before I left for Togo, I was a little unsure how my knowledge in public health would be very useful in a clinic, but I realized that so many of the systemic problems in Togo directly affect the people coming into the clinics. For example, we saw in many clinics that people were unable to go to the hospital because of transportation or the cost of hospitalization. These challenges were difficult to face and really drew on my initial thoughts that Togo is a forgotten country. There was much less aid seen in Togo compared to Ghana. The infrastructure was significantly worse and there was a clear difference in accessibility from one country to the other. It made me really appreciate that I choose to spend the first 4 days and the last 4 days in Ghana and use the comparison to better understand the need in Togo.
This was a fantastic experience and it really put the concepts that I have learned in health studies and other BIS classes into a real world perspective.IMGP3341

Go, Go to TOGO

Blog Writ­ten 7/9/2014 by Aimee Desrochers, Major: Health Studies, Study Abroad: Togo

As I organize my clothes, bug repellant, and mosquito net into one back pack to bring to Togo, West Africa tomorrow I wonder if I will be packing up all the same things in a year to start the Peace Corps. Tomorrow I am leaving for about three weeks in Togo to learn about global health in a resource poor setting. I am so excited to learn from the organizations and people we are going to be working with for 10 days and get hands on experience in global health. I am a senior in the health studies program and when I graduate in December I will be leaving for two years, living in Togo for the Peace Corps. I am so fortunate to be able to study abroad there before I move there and get a better understanding of what my life will be like there.

I am leaving a little earlier than the rest of the group and doing some sight seeing in Ghana and staying a little longer at the end to hopefully meet fellow peace corps working in the area I may be stationed. For ten days we are working with a team of nurses and doctors to provide primary health care and screening to individuals with little access and resources. I am going to be doing wind shield surveys and community assessments to determine what the community wants and what resources they have. I am looking forward to learning from the communities about their lives and what they want for their communities in the future. This is going to be an amazing experience and I cannot believe I am leaving tomorrow.