Home / Blog

My name is Abiodun Alarape, a medical Laboratory Scientist from University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. My centre was fortunate to have two of us sent on secondment to Lisboa under the ARISE staff exchange programme. The ARISE secondment programme has availed me the opportunity to have a two month internship done in the well-equipped Research laboratory of Professor Miguel Brito, at the Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa (IPL), Portugal.

My secondment work is on work package 3 (WP3 – Improving laboratory diagnostics and quality assurance systems for population screening). On resumption, I was instructed on the task ahead of me. The warm reception I received gave me the assurance that I am in for a good time in IPL. I was taken to places necessary for me to know in IPL and introduced to staff members. I took online courses in Good Clinical Practice, Good Laboratory Practice and Basic Molecular Biology as foundation before I would start laboratory work. Certificate obtained for each course had to be submitted to show that I have gone through the course and passed it. At the completion of the online courses, I had permission to start laboratory work. Both Professor Brito and Mrs. Catarina Ginete who oversees the day to day running of the laboratory supervised me throughout my stay.

The laboratory set-up, availability of materials to work with and seasoned trainers made the training impactful. Availability, skillfulness and readiness to teach and train of Mrs. Ginete helped me to acquire knowledge and skill. Apart from coming to the laboratory to see that our training is going on well, Professor Brito do send us helpful materials and stained gels to read. The today- to- day exposure to the works we carryout in the laboratory helped me to acquire the skill in Sample preparation for IEF electrophoresis, operating the IEF equipment, Gel washing and Staining, Gel reading and reporting, DNA extraction and preparation of gel for DNA electrophoresis. I was also privileged to participate in using the PCR to confirm some of the IEF electrophoresis results that required further clarification. I was lucky be in IPL at a time when Samples from Angola were being processed. It was a thing of joy to me, that samples we brought from Nigeria were processed by my partner and me.

My short stay in Lisboa, Portugal is a pleasant memory that will linger on. The well laid-out architectural designs with high rising buildings everywhere, the excellent road networks and serene atmosphere of the city left much to be desired. The transportation within the metropolis and compliance to traffic laws is highly commendable. I was highly impressed seeing vehicle owners strictly obeying the traffic light and stopping for pedestrians to enjoy zebra crossing without harassment or having difficulty crossing the road. One experience I must not fail to mention is the recovery of my lost but found wallet. The wallet fell unnoticed in one of the two places I usually go to enjoy sunshine. I did not know that the wallet had dropped until several hours later. A lady who picked it up handed it over to the security man, who in turn gave it back to me when I went back there to look for it. Everything inside that wallet was intact. Honestly, I will miss my regular visit to the beach which is just a working distance from where I stay.

I wish to express my profound gratitude to Professor Baba Inusa and the other members of the coordinating team for given me the opportunity to benefit from the ARISE secondment programme.

My deep appreciation goes to Professor Brito for accepting to train me in his well-organized and highly-equipped Research laboratory. He was there for me in times of need and cared much about my wellbeing. I am also grateful to Mrs. Ginete for her immense contribution that made my internship highly rewarding.

I am very grateful to the IPL authority for accepting that I be allowed to have my internship done in the prestigious Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa.

Finally, my sincere deep gratitude goes to Professor Kolade Ernest, whose desire and delight is to see that the people he is leading progress. But for his relentless effort and sacrifice, it would not have been possible to have our samples couriered to us, weeks after we were already in Portugal. Sir, I am deeply appreciative and thankful.