Friday, July 24, 2009

The Nets Are Out!

We’re getting the nets out!

Yes, in our first site of Ntenjeru, we have Village Health Team (VHT) members distributing our first set of nets and they’re doing a bang-up job!

Tuesday, the TAMTAM team (currently Paul, Esther, Lekha and Meredith) traveled to Ntenjeru to run our first training for VOLSET’s Village Health Team (VHTs). This first set of seven VHTs – respected members of their communities trained in basic public health direction – would distribute nets to well over 150 households over the next few weeks. The training consisted of explaining the program to the VHTs, practicing the protocols for net delivery and installation, and fielding a great variety of thoughtful questions. The day ended with a ceremony in which we presented each VHT with sufficient nets to start the distribution, as well as a bag to carry their nets in, string, nails, pens, logbooks, and an ink-pad for recording thumbprints. Further, we gave each VHT a net for their own home; much to the VHTs’ delight, their own homes would be the first recipients. As they left, the VHTs seemed delighted by the tools we had given them and eager to get the nets to their communities.

With that, the VHTs were off and running on Wednesday, heading to the villages of Nsumba and Kabira to deliver the nets to the households that they are getting to know so well.

Thursday, in fact, we were witness to the commitment of the field team and the quality of the training. TAMTAM team members shadowed two VHTs – Edward and John – and observed the distribution itself. To the teams delight, the VHTs flawlessly executed the net delivery at the homes we shadowed. The team was also pleased to hear that the VHTs were delivering the nets faster than anticipated given their eagerness to get the nets out to as many household as soon as possible. We are all excited for the next net pick-up day next week so that even more nets can be delivered!

Being in the field for training, shadowing and distribution has been some of our most satisfying and productive time this summer. This is certainly the most tangible way in which we’ve seen our mission being fulfilled! See below for just a sampling of the many pictures we have taken as distribution starts!


Sewing Circle! Nsumba resident Deborah, TAMTAMer Lekha, VOLSET volunteer Ally, and TAMTAMer Meredith cut and bundle the string that will be used to hang the nets

TAMTAMer Lekha displays one of the new nets and kicks off training. Attached to the front is a script in Luganda that the VHTs will read to the net recipients.

TAMTAMer Esther role-plays an elderly net recipient while VHT John Lubanga practices delivering and installing the nets. Esther’s role-plays were difficult, but each VHT proved him or herself easily up to the challenge.

VHT John, VOLSET volunteer Joshua, VHT Phoebe and VHT Margaret enjoy a tea break at VOLSET’s headquarters.

Congratulations! TAMTAMer Esther and VOLSET Founder Festus congratulate VHT Harriet on finishing training and happily hand her the first set of nets to deliver.

Training Day! The team celebrates after finishing a successful day of training. Front row (left to right): TAMTAMer Esther, VHTs Prossy, Harriet, John, Edward, Dan, and Phoebe and Margaret, TAMTAMer Lekha. Back row (left to right): TAMTAMer Paul, cooks/helpers Deborah and Sarah, Peace Corps/VOLSET volunteer Zac, VOLSET Founder Festus, VOLSET volunteer Joshua, and TAMTAMer Meredith

Delighted to receive her own family’s net, VHT Margaret dances with the net on her head at the end of the day.

VHT Edward carries his TAMTAM distribution team bags as he visits the household in his village to deliver the bed nets

VHT Edward delivers a net to a household and explains how to set-up and care for the net

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