Staff Connections

Our CMO, Dr. Nzinga Harrison, has just returned from a 10 day trip to Liberia. Here is what she accomplished in her own words.


Nzinga Harrison,MD
Chief Medical Officer

I am in Liberia, Africa teaching Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants to identify and treat Substance Use Disorders as part of The Carter Center's initiative to expand mental health capacity in Liberia. I was first invited to participate as guest faculty in July 2013 at which time I taught 26 students in Cohort 5 at a hospital in the country's capital, Monrovia. This trip is to teach Cohort 6, composed of 23 students located in a more rural part of Liberia known as Gbarnga.

Students were given a pre-test to evaluate their knowledge of Substance Use Disorders and a post-test at the conclusion of the course which included 3 days of didactic instruction and 2 days of clinical rounds. 19 of 23 students improved their score from the pre-test to post-test. All students were immediately able to apply their newly acquired knowledge in clinical settings.

In addition to teaching students as part of the Carter Center's Liberia Initiative, I delivered 160 urine drug screen kits donated by Anka Behavioral Health, Inc. to the country's only Psychiatric hospital. Because there are no urine drug screen tests in the country, they are unable to fully understand what drug classes are being abused. In partnership with leadership of Grant hospital, I trained their staff on the use of urine drug screen kits and created a clinical questionnaire that will allow us to match the street name to the urine drug screen results. This project will get underway early next month and provide critically necessary information for the country to adequately assess and manage the growing substance use problem.

To Read Dr. Harrison's entire blog on the trip, visit http://www.nzingaharrisonmd.com/blog/