I have reached the halfway point of my trip here in Cartagena, Colombia. From my last blog post, I was mentioning that I was going to begin researching neurocysticercosis (NCC). Since the epilepsy foundation that I am working at treats and cares for many patients who suffer from NCC, we have been creating a database of patients who have been diagnosed with that infection. My job primarily has been finding the reason for their initial consultation and the symptoms they presented. Due to the fact that NCC is a Neglected Tropical Disease, data on the patient’s town, age, sex, and reason for an appointment could prove to be beneficial. Using that data and other important information about NCC, we are in the processing of writing an article to hopefully be published. I have been working closely with a neurologist to familiarize ourselves extremely well with other published literature and hopefully be able to have the article in Spanish and in English. Though I grew up speaking the language, it has been interesting to see the process of writing and the dialogue used in an academic article in Spanish. Besides that project, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to meet a portion of the patients that go through the clinic. Outside of the clinic, there has been a lot happening not only in Cartagena but also in the entire country. Last week, the first round of the presidential elections happened, and this coming Saturday, the new president of Colombia will be elected. Additionally, the World Cup is about to begin in the coming weeks, and its effects have already been extremely evident around the city. It has been a true humbling experience to be part of such a great non-profit and be able to integrate myself in a community rich of culture and history.
(I was going to include pictures of the clinic, but my memory card broke – next time!)