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Alabi Sunday shares his secondment experience at Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa (IPL) Lisbon Portugal.

My secondment experience at Health and Research Center (HTRC), Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde Lisboa (ESTeSL), Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa (IPL) Lisbon Portugal.

I am Alabi Sunday Adeniyi, a Medical Laboratory Scientist, Hematology specialist from University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital UITH Ilorin, Nigeria. I was offered the opportunity to come for this training between September 26 to December 5, 2023 and received the offer with full excitement and greater expectations.

By the arrangement in African Research Innovative initiative for Sickle Cell Education ARISE program I enrolled for the work package 3, aimed to improve the quality and capacity of Laboratory diagnostic testing for population screening for sickle cell disease.

“A good first impression works wonders ” that adage really worked for me, because the impression created by Professor Miguel Brito, Catarina, Mariana and Carolina on my first day in the laboratory built a hope in me that I’m gonna finish well.

This training program is not just usual processing of blood to get results, but was preceded with compulsory rigorous online courses with certification, in the first few weeks.

Such courses include:

  • Good Clinical Practice GCP
  • Good Laboratory Practice GLP
  • Basic Molecular biology
  • Nucleic acids Extraction
  • Nucleic acids Amplification

All these actually prepared me for the reality of the training ahead.

The main assignment, which is the training on Isoelectric Focusing- IEF commenced in earnest as I resumed into the research laboratory under the tutelage of Madam Catarina and Professorial supervision of Professor Miguel Brito.

I was taken through the nitty gritty of the IEF procedure from samples sorting, samples lysing, gel preparation, use of IEF equipment, staining of gel and reading of result.

After few days of observation I was allowed to start handling the analysis with or without further supervision, this in turn gives me sense of belonging and enhanced my performance till date. Along the line I joined the team in DNA analysis and participated in Nucleic acid extraction, Amplification and electrophoresis.

I was introduced and admitted to Professor Edna Ribeiro Hematology practical class which later became part of my Tuesday activities. The class was also an opportunity to refresh, learn and gained more knowledge and new things.

My colleague from ILORIN team, in person of ALARAPE Abiodun Jacob later joined and we continued the training together.

Count your blessings… according to the Holy book, I can not fail to recount my gains which includes:

  • Certification on Good Clinical Practice GCP
  • Certification on Good Laboratory Practice GLP
  • Certification on Basic Molecular biology
  • Certification on Nucleic acid extraction
  • Certification on PCR and qPCR.
  • Hand on practical training on IEF.
  • Participation in Hb genetic research work
  • Participation in Hematology class and practicals
  • Exposure to research papers.

These great achievements can not come into place without assiduous efforts of ARISE CONSORTIUM management team lead by Professor Baba Inusa, Professor Miguel Brito team of Researchers and Management of ESTeSL IPL.

To you all I express my heart of gratitude.

Portugal’s uniqueness is far beyond my expectations:

Information technology; compliance of greater percentage of the population to.  IT (use of GP maps by Old and Young).
Transportation; Wonderful road network for Motor, railway lines and underground Metro service.
Refreshments; Availability of eateries and tea joint at every corner, less than fifty (50) meters apart.
Recreational; Vasco Da Gama edifice and Atlantic ocean beach visitation, all were nostalgic experience.
Chill weather that prevents people like me from going out at my leisure time is just a Natural endowment.

In conclusion all thanks to God Almighty, and all members of ARISE big and international family, many thanks to our indefatigable coordinator in person of Serena who is always there for us.

Thank you all.