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Pippa's Gambian trip, 15-29 November 2005

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23 November - A day in Banjul >>

Tuesday 22 November - A day of microscopes

First, we took 10 of the Olympus microscopes to the Teaching Hospital in Banjul. We met the professor in charge of the teaching laboratories, who was delighted with the gift. He said that he might send some of them to the field stations in parts of the country where there was no electricity supply at all, as these microscopes use reflected sunlight for illumination. This would make a tremendous difference to these regions as, at present, they had no way of examining blood or other clinical samples on site.

staff at Banjul Teaching Hospital

unpacking microscopes at Gambia SSS

staff at Banjul Teaching Hospital

unpacking microscopes at Gambia SSS

Wale Adebayo trying out the Trekker microscope

Next, to Gambia Senior Secondary School, also in Banjul. This is one of The Gambia's most successful senior schools, but it is still woefully short of Science equipment. We found that it has been necessary in the past for the school to borrow a microscope from an outside source, such as the MRC or the hospital, for a few days to enable the students to have the chance of using one for a short time. Now we were bringing them eight microscopes of their own amazing!

An assistant lecturer in Biology, Wale Adebayo, tried out the Trekker microscope and was very enthusiastic about it he decided it would be excellent for field work.

Wale Adebayo trying out the Trekker microscope

 

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In fact, we left enough microscopes with this school for three further senior schools St Augustine's, St Joseph's and Nusrat to have three each as well, and arranged for the Science teachers from these schools to collect them. As before, the instruction leaflets were left with the microscopes and arrangements were made for a second visit to see how the students and teachers were getting on with them.

Then, back to the University for the micro-biology class. When I arrived, the class was in full swing and the microscopes had been set up so that each was shared between two students. One was looking at the specimen while the other was drawing it, no cameras here, of course. All the students were keen to show me what they were doing and I found that they had set the microscopes up very well indeed and their drawings did indeed show what they COULD see, rather than what they had been told they SHOULD see. I explained to them how these microscopes had come to be given to their university and they were amazed (and grateful!) that they had been able to take advantage of such a wonderful gift. It seemed to me that these young people were keen and observant and would make really good use of their 'new toys'. They said that the instructions had been clear and that they had not had any trouble in setting up the microscopes they also understood that they had to take care of them and keep them covered when not in use.
 

Students at Banjul University using  microscopes 1

Students at Banjul University using  microscopes 2

 

Students at Banjul University using  microscopes 3

Students at Banjul University using  microscopes 4

 

Students at Banjul University using  microscopes 5

Students at Banjul University using  microscopes 6

Students at Banjul University using their microscopes

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23 November - A day in Banjul >>

 

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