Sierra Leone – Rule #1 – no handshakes

After a 15 hr event-full trip from WHO Geneva I arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone (SL) capital, yesterday at 8am to the sound of crowing roosters (they got up late).

Jet lag, hungry (I can never decide) – breakfast won and I was immediately “adopted” by Michael Cosby (USA) and Shoaib Hussan (India), two WHO volunteers.

An hour later I was sitting in the midst of their weekly “Epi” (Epidemiology) meeting – a boiler-room of amazing teamwork and activity coordinating all intelligence on cases as they are confirmed – I say amazing as they are all on 6-12 week deployments, all work 7 days a week – Johann Conzalez (Columbia) was up till 1am completing a survey map for a news release that day. Their dedication under the leadership of Eilish Cleary (Canada) was humbling.

Twice I forgot and extended my hand – only to be embarrassingly reminded “No handshakes here“.

Eilish took me to “IPC” (infection Prevention & Control) and had to reassure Mandy (Canada) she was not poaching me (newbies are grabbed by anyone – there is such a need). To my surprise the IPC Leader is Julie Storr (UK), former UK IPS President.

Talk again soon. My CDC-ICAN Train The Trainer (TTT) colleagues arrive tmrw – we start Monday.

Rooster is crowing again – poor thing needs a clock.

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