At midnight tonight, I will be traveling to Khartoum, and hopefully Thursday will be my first day at the WHO office. In preparation, I have been researching the role of the World Health Organization in Sudan. Neglected tropical diseases and their prevention and management are a big part of WHO operations in Sudan, but in addition, malaria, tuberculosis, and non-communicable diseases are also massive public health problems that require attention. Overall, obstacles faced by health officials and organizations include decentralized governmental operations (making it more difficult to communicate and work with rural areas, especially as much of Sudan’s population lives in rural places), a lack of financial resources (despite the fact that Sudan is rich in natural and human resources, it is a low income country), and a shortage of adequately trained medical professionals.
Over the next week, I hope to get a sense of my day to day role in the office, start research on my research question, and meet the people with whom I will be working.