Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 4

We had a busy week which was split between Gulu, Ntenjeru, and Kampala! In Gulu, we met with Kairos to understand what data they collect on the residents who live in the surrounding villages. This will give us a clearer picture of how many bed nets should be distributed to the community. It also provides us with baseline data on current bed net penetration in the region.

Our visit to Ntenjeru involved shadowing a Village Health Team (VHT), as they made their regular home visits. From watching the VHTs in action it is clear that these volunteers are hard working individuals and are committed to providing better healthcare services to their village. Visiting the home first hand gave the team an idea of the need for bed nets in the region. It is clear that there are many families that do not have the resources to afford bed nets. The home visits also provided the team with ideas on a bed net distribution strategy and how to best leverage the VHT network as we launch our pilot.

In Kampala, we had meetings with a few NGOs that work on AIDS/HIV outreach, testing, and/or treatment. We met with the following NGOs: EGPAF, PREFA, and MSF France. These meetings gave us a greater understanding of the AIDS/HIV support that is taking place in Uganda. As we think about the potential to “crowd in” public health services, such as HIV testing, we hope to potentially partner with one of these NGOs to complement their existing work in Uganda.

The week ended with the arrival of a new team member, Meredith. Meredith is already hard at work in the field. Her first stop is Damba Island, which is located ~2 hours off the shore of Lake Victoria. Stay tuned to hear about Meredith’s adventures to the islands!

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