Cultural Highlight: St. Lucia

While traveling to install the Techies Without Borders Continuing Medical Education on Stick Project (CMES and CMES-Pi) I have been invited to joined in local sports events…playing soccer in Ecuador with clinic patients…volleyball at the Himanchal Higher Education School in Nangi, Nepal…and receiving a cricket lesson in St. Lucia. Understanding not only the medical culture in a country but the cultural pastimes is important in bridging relationships.

Dominoes played in St. Lucia during work breaks.

One of my favorite games to simply watch is Dominoes played with great enthusiasm in St. Lucia. You know a hotly contested game is nearby when you hear the dominoes slammed down onto the table….quickly followed by cheers and groans.

 

Who Knew? Besides playing games, another use of dominoes involves standing them on end in long lines so that when the first tile is toppled, it topples the second, which topples the third, etc., resulting in all of the tiles falling. By analogy, the phenomenon of small events causing similar events leading to change is called the Domino Effect…we at TWB believe making CME available to all medical practitioners directly affects their patients and you don’t need a game face to make the win. (Photo Wikipedia)

Meet a Solar Power House from Nepal

Meet Sandeep Giri, Founder and CEO of Gham Power, a Nepali company providing solar based solutions for rural households, businesses and communities. Their solar micro-grid solutions are used where national gridlines are not available.

Bayalpata Hospital, Achham District, Nepal.

Gham Power enables TWB to provide the free Continuing Medical Education on Stick Project in remote areas of Nepal such as Possible Health’s Bayalpata Hospital in the far western Achham District. They installed the solar panels which provides the electricity to run the hospital and the Raspberry-Pi device. Doctors and nurses use smart phone apps to access up-to-date medical information on the Pi thereby decreasing their isolation and improving their knowledge base. Gham Power uses unique “pay as you go” financing and investors to help communities reach their potential with access to electricity. They also developed solar pump solutions for farmers.

TWB gives a three thumb drive salute to Gham Power for their global foresight, business model and technical ingenuity. Read more about them on our Facebook page.

CMES-Pi Participant Highlight: Mount St. John’s Medical Center, Antigua

Meet Dr. Vonetta George who works at Mount St. John’s Medical Center (MSJMC) in Antigua. Dr. Vonetta works in all critical care areas of the hospital including supervising the 15 doctors and 2 dozen+ nurses in the Emergency Department.

Antigua is located in the West Indies, a Leeward Island in the Caribbean. Mount St. John’s serves the population of Antigua and also Barbuda. Working on an isolated island directly affects the doctors and nurses ability to access current continuing medical education in a cost effective manner. Dr. Vonetta was the gail force hurricane behind getting the CMES-Pi Project installed in her hospital. MSJMC installed a CMES-Pi in June last year. Using our smart phone apps the staff can look up CME current practice topics at bedside. The CME is provided by our partner Emergency Medicine Reviews and Perspectives. The PDF files provide helpful bullet points and take seconds to read. The MP3 files are providing topics for weekly group CME conferences and discussions. The CMES-Pi Project directly impacts access to CME for 101 doctors and 179 nurses at the hospital. Thank you Dr. Vonetta!

Who Knew? The first inhabitants were the Siboney, who can be dated back to 2400 BCE. Arawaks settled subsequently, around the 1st century CE. The Caribs arrived later, but abandoned Antigua around the 16th century, due to the shortage of fresh water. Christopher Columbus sighted the larger island in 1493, and named it after a church in Seville, Santa Maria de la Antigua. (Commonwealth)

CMES Participant Highlight: 32 Volcanos in Guatemala

Dr. Carmen (center) and Dr. Herman (right side) from 32 Volcanos using the CMES-Pi.

32 Volcanes may be a new Guatemalan non-profit but they are well known to Techies Without Borders (TWB). 32 Volcanoes, formerly Asociación Pop Wuj, has participated in the CMES-Pi Project since 2018. 32 Volcanos continues to operate and partner with the guidance of Foundation Todos Juntos (FTJ), a Guatemala non-profit which aims to support public health projects. TWB came to know these organizations through our partnership with Timmy Global Health (TGH), a USA based non-profit. We provide CMES and CMES-Pi to all TGH partners in Guatemala, Santo Domingo and Ecuador.

Located in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala the 32 Volcanos team lead by the tireless, creative and undefeatable Dr. Carmencita de Alvarado support and deliver educational, health, nutrition, and environmental projects in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Driven by the social needs of the diverse communities the projects integrate all aspects of the communities’ life and health needs.

This new organization comes from the 26 years of experience of Dr. Carmen and Roney Alvarado and has been created not only to maintain and develop their above goals, but also to ensure that this experience becomes a path of mutual, integral development for the Guatemalan people.

“The volcanoes will be there when we are no longer here, and that is what we hope will happen with our work: that it will be a seed that will sprout in more worthy and just futures for all.” Dr. Carmen

Three thumb drive salute to 32 Volcanos for their novel, vigorous and compassionate programs in Guatemala.

Volcano Fuego. Photo from Wikimedia.

Who Knew? A mountain range of 32 volcanoes crosses the entire Guatemalan territory.  The name of this organization refers to one of the most emblematic characteristics of their country. Several volcanos last erupted in the Holocene Period, but Fuego erupted recently in 2018.