Monday, February 25, 2008

Public hospitals

We're currently conducting surveillance for hospital acquired respiratory infections at three public tertiary care hospitals in Bangladesh. Specifically, we're interested in the role that hospitals might play as places where infections like influenza could easily spread from person to person. These hospitals are typically very crowded places, as you can see. These are a few photos from wards currently involved in the surveillance study.
A pediatric ward on admission day

An adult medicine ward at night

Patients hospitalized on the veranda

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What not to put on your CV

At the end of last week I went through about 300 CVs to shortlist candidates for 3 junior researcher positions we have open. As I general rule, I suggest that when preparing a CV you focus on key experiences you've had which are relevant to the position advertised. If you find yourself tempted to include on your CV other intangible qualities, similar to this beautiful excerpt from one CV I read, please do your best to fight the temptation.

My first cricket game

I must admit that I really enjoyed playing my first cricket game! No one would ever call us 'good' cricket players, but we had a lot of fun. We were honored that 5 members of the Bangladesh National Women's Cricket Team came to watch our game and practice with us (pictured here in white). Can you imagine how 'outside the norm' you must be as a professional female athlete in Bangladesh? These women are cool. I wondered why these professional athletes would even be interested in watching such amateur play as ours. But then I realized that our teams could very well be the only women's cricket teams in the whole country outside of education institutions. I guess we have a lot in common with them- at least cricket interest, if not cricket skill.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Something I won't miss about Dhaka

In just over a year from now we'll be leaving Dhaka and moving back to the United States. With this in mind we've already started wondering what we'll miss most about our lives here. The final list will be sizable. However, there are some things we won't miss about living here. One is this disgusting stuff that appears on our downstairs floors with it's damp (which happens frequently, since we live in a tropical climate). I believe it to be mold, for obvious reasons, but Eric has hypothesized that it might be something leaching out of the concrete. Either way, it's gross, and we won't miss it.

Big girl

Lily is such a big girl now! And very, very cute if I do say so myself. Walking and talking. Five teeth. I can't believe that her first birthday is next month. Where did the time go?

Bad time to be a bird

It's a bad time to be a bird in Bangladesh.

Avian influenza outbreaks continue, seemingly increasing as the weeks progress. Tens of thousands of poultry are culled each week but the strategy has done litte to check the spread of the virus. Another new phenomena, unheard of in other countries, has been the mass deaths of crows from bird flu all around the country. Here's a picture of such crows from last week's paper. They were found in a well known park in Dhaka. Usually crows are not infected with or do not die from bird flu. However, these crows are apparently feeding on carcases of chickens who died from H5N1 and ingesting massive amounts of virus.

No reported human cases yet, but we're still looking.