Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lusanyuse okulaba mu Uganda! (Welcome to Uganda)

The Uganda TAMTAM has arrived on site in Ntenjeru and hit the ground running! This year’s team consists of Sheryl, who is working on her Master of Science in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, Hummy, who is working on her Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Laura who just completed her Master’s of Business Administration.

This summer, the team is focused on collecting follow-up data on the 400+ home bed nets that were distributed to last year. The nets were given out through different techniques and the team will evaluate the follow up data to see if techniques resulted in increased utilization. This information will be reported to the government, US health organizations, and other NGOs to improve the methods through which nets are distributed in the future.

We arrived in Uganda on Saturday and after a bumpy ride down to the Volset Foundation's White House we were treated to a delicious dinner by the wonderful women working at the House. On Sunday, we spent the day learning how to do basic tasks, like washing dishes and bathing, without the luxuries of home life and also had the chance to have some fun with the kids that live nearby.

Monday we got right to work going to the Volset Office to meet with two of the Volunteer Health Team members (VHTs) to develop the follow-up survey, schedule dates for training all of the VHTs, and work on training materials. We’ll spend the rest of this week working closely with the VHTs as well as people involved in the initial follow up study last September, to develop the follow-up survey and the training which we will be giving to the VHTs next Tuesday.

We have been warmly welcomed by the community, kids, and VHTs. We’ve been inspired by many of the leaders of the community that we’ve had the pleasure to meet and all the fantastic work they’re doing to improve education, healthcare, community services, and support for the HIV+ community. We’re really excited to be starting off a great summer of working for TAMTAM in Ntenjeru!

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