We, the DigiCare team members from TAMK, were on our way to the airport after an intense period of project work in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There was now a sense of familiarity as we slowly made progress amid honking cars and vehicles of various sizes competing for space on the road. After a long period of COVID-19 restrictions, we had finally managed to meet with our project partners in Dhaka.
The plan had been to make up for lost time, and indeed we had; our time together had been one of long working hours sandwiched between seemingly even longer periods of sitting in the car. Nevertheless, as we reflected on the Dhaka transnational meeting, we were filled with gratitude for the heartfelt hospitality shown to us by our two Dhaka partner universities, Universal Medical College and Hospital (UMCH) and City Medical College and Hospital (CiMCH).
On arrival at both host universities, we were warmly welcomed by smiling faces and excited greetings – not to mention the beautiful fresh flowers handed to each of us! The working facilities at our disposal had been carefully constructed to maximize productivity. A large conference room and several smaller rooms enabled a variety of working options: group discussions, small group work and the use of world cafe method.
Food was also a central and much appreciated element of our otherwise work centered days. Lunch breaks offered an excellent excuse to take a break and socialize with each other as we enjoyed a variety of local dishes and delicacies exploding with exotic flavors. We lacked absolutely nothing.
The ultimate form of hospitality, however, demonstrated itself as genuine interest in our work.
Our consortium was visited by nurses, doctors, healthcare students and hospital administrators, many of whom had been involved in our pilots. On the face of it, some were probably also curious to see who they had been talking with over zoom.
Furthermore, the number of meetings arranged with influential people for our project manager to promote the DigiCare project communicated to us that our work was valued for the potential it holds for the future of healthcare in Bangladesh.
What an experience – Thank you Dhaka!
by Essi Ylistalo & the TAMK team