VHT members attend the safe motherhood workshop
PHP is happy to report that our members spent an incredibly fruitful summer working in the communities of Kashongi and Kitura! As mentioned in our last update, PHP hosted 11 students from Duke this summer who each worked on “mini-projects” in order to lay the foundation for our large safe motherhood project to begin soon.
Below are the results of each mini-project:
PHP volunteers Adrienne Niederriter, Max Jin, and Stephanie Weiss developed a maternal health education campaign, which will take place in the villages within Kashongi and Kitura Sub-Counties. For this campaign, they created informational pamphlets and a manual for Village Health Team (VHT) members to use during home visits and community outreach workshops.
Medical Records System
In order to provide a faster and more efficient form of collecting and storing patient information, PHP volunteers Carrie Ho and Joan Nambuba spent the summer implementing an electronic medical records system with the purpose of harnessing innovative technology and taking advantage of the growing popularity of cellular phones in the region. When VHT members conduct follow-up visits with expectant mothers in Kashongi and Kitura, they will be able to record information and send forms to a computer at the health centres – all using the FrontlineSMS application on their cell phones.
Safe Motherhood Survey
After spending several months designing a pre- and post-intervention survey for the safe motherhood program, Duke Master’s of Economics student Katherine Donato traveled to Uganda to finalize the survey and conduct pilot testing with pregnant women at the government health center in Kashongi. The survey will collect detailed information about the women, such as health education levels, underlying economic characteristics, and antenatal practices in previous pregnancies.
Community-Based Asset Mapping
In Kashongi and Kitura, maternal care is often provided by Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). Two PHP team members, Anastasia Karklina and Lisa Zhang, therefore spent the summer interviewing TBAs throughout the region in order to gain an understanding of their practices and identify ways in which collaboration between TBAs and PHP can be achieved.
Child Health Focus Groups
PHP team members Katie Budolfson and Helen Zhang conducted child health focus group discussions with men, women, and health workers in order to gain understanding of the current state of child health in Kashongi and Kitura. Topics discussed included the most prevalent child health conditions, child health knowledge, care-seeking norms, and accessibility of health services for children. A wealth of information was gathered, which we will use to inform future projects related to child health in Kashongi and Kitura.
We will continue to keep you posted on the Safe Motherhood Initiative. As they say in Runyankore, the language spoken in southwestern Uganda, “Webare Munonga” -- "thank you very much" for your support!
Take care and until next time!
VHT members practice entering data using cell
Expectant mothers receiving health education
Providing translations during a Focus Group