Log, February 28th to March 6th

Monday, February 28th
On Monday, I met with Dr. Hugh Cameron at Makerere University to discuss the development and progress of the software to be used on the VHTs’ mobile phones. Later, I met with Alexander Kasendwa at MTN headquarters to discuss the phone set specifications for the basic screening of the VHTs.

Tuesday, March 1st
In the morning, I met with Hon. Sylvia Ssinabulya at the Ugandan Parliament in Kampala. Subsequently, we went to meet with Rosemary Nabifo Wamimbei, Secretary of the NGO Board, regarding expanding Life for Mothers’ mission into other districts of Uganda.

Rosemary Nabifo Wamimbei, Secretary of the NGO Board

Wednesday, March 2nd
I went to the Health Center IV in the Parish of Mwera where we spent the entire day screening 25 VHTs (50 CHWs) and another 4 community health workers. Each individual was assessed for basic competency in the use of the data-registration mobile technology. Prior to the screening, briefing sessions took place amongst all of the teams. Unfortunately, less than a third of the teams were deemed competent and therefore our search continued for additional VHTs.

During this visit, I met with Immaculate, a midwife and friend, at the Health Center IV who showed me a non-functioning blood pressure machine – non-functioning due to the unavailability of batteries. This is an unfortunate example of how weak infrastructure and supply shortages negatively impact the resident population’s access to health services.

 

Midwife Immaculate showing me defunct blood pressure machine

Thursday, March 3rd
Regarding the search for a new Program Manager, I met with the supervisor of Winfred Namireme, a potential candidate, who works for the African Health Education Initiative, a join collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University. We discussed her work history, etc. I was impressed with her past work performance and therefore I suggested she come on Sunday to screen for the additional VHTs who could acquire basic competency skills to use our  mobile health technology.

Friday, March 4th
As mentioned in previous entries, LfM wants to secure the support of the Village Chairpersons of the initial 25 villages working as part of our pilot project. On Friday, I was able to meet with twelve of them (all men). After introducing them to Life for Mothers’ pilot project and mission, I gave out our Life for Mothers pins. If you look closely you can see the Village Chairpersons wearing them.

Village Chairpersons being introduced to the pilot project

Village Chairpersons wearing LfM pins

Saturday, March 5th
On Saturday, I was a guest on Radio One’s Health Net show (9am-10am) and was interviewed by Dr. Henry Ddungu, from Makerere University. The interview involved questions regarding the specific pilot project in Busujju county as well as the substantive issues regarding maternal/neonatal mortality in Uganda.

Dr. Harry being interviewed on health talk show, Health Net on Radio One

Dr. Harry being interviewed by Dr. Ddungu on Health Net, Radio One

Sunday, March 6th
Winfred Namirembe and I travelled to Mityana to screen additional VHTs in order to complete the full complement of 25 VHTs in the basic use of mobile health technology. After witnessing her work during the entire day with the VHTs, we finalized our decision to hire Winfred Namirembe as our new pilot project Program Manager. She has accepted to be the Program Manager for the pilot project in Busujju county for Life for Mothers.

Winifred demonstrating how to use LfM's mobile health technology

The VHTs who were screened

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