We got home ok, gathered our stuff together and we were ready when the car came to take us to the airport. We met up with the team and at 3:30 PM we were on our way to Patna, Bihar. That evening we met with Dr Sherin and Dr Sufia over dinner to check final agendas, etc. and found out Dr Sherin was now the head of the UNICEF office and Dr Suffia had Dr Sherin’s old position over Child and Maternal Care. Both people are very deserving of the move up.
Monday morning there was an opening ceremony to begin the training program including several government officials, blessedly short speeches, a lot of press coverage, etc. The actual training began at 12:30 and once it got going, it went very well through both days.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 – off to Dibrugarh, Assam, with a stop in Guwahati, Assam, en route. Cindy had the window seat and was amazed at how green and tropical the terrain looked as we approached Guwahati and I agreed, it was beautiful. When we landed at Dibrugarh, we were very surprised with a new airport terminal that had only been open for 6 months. It was really nice. We met Dr Trakroo while we were waiting for our luggage. He had gotten on board when we stopped in Guwahati. First personal meeting with him and I was impressed. Very nice personality and someone who definitely had his act together.
Dr Ajay Trakroo, UNICEF Assam. Finally met the doctor I was introduced to on the phone back in October, 2008, but that is another story.
Dr Tulika who teaches at the medical college in Dibrugarh and handled the logistics on the Dibrugarh end. She was great to work with. It is always fun to finally meet someone you have only emailed and talked to on the phone.
Dr Barry Anderton, our team leader, kept things light and was a great person to be around. We used the new inflatable (water and/or air) NeoNatalie manikins for this training. You can see one on the table.
Dr Trakroo did an outstanding job of getting state and GOI officials to the training. Here the head of Assam's Health Ministry is speaking. Everyone had high praise for this man's efforts in bringing about change for the better. Barry said he actually had tears in his eyes when he spoke of the training and the benefit it would bring.
Not everything was serious ...
After lunch on the last day of training, we took a group picture on the roof of the hotel. Sister Tanner said we were too wide, so on impulse I decided to lay down in front. It got quite a laugh and then another doctor joined me. This was a very fun group to work with and all very personable.
On Thursday, we toured a new infant ICU that was recently completed at the public hospital under Dr Trakroo's guidance. It is a model for what he hopes to propagate throughout Assam. Dr Jenkins, center, said it was as good as NICU's in the states. We had to gown up to enter. This is day compared to Bihar's night.
The Brahmaputra River behind the hotel. The audio on the clip explains it. A couple of weeks after we left, the water level was much higher. Even with what you see, there are deep channels and steamers provide transport up and down the river.
There was a wholesale warehouse next to the hotel. When we came out to leave one evening, the truck was being unloaded. It took 8 guys less than an hour to unload the truck and take everything inside, and upstairs, in the adjacent building. 50 kg bags (110 lbs)