September Uganda Update
I have returned from visiting Uganda again to work on the pilot site and assess new sites, among other things. It was a very busy and rewarding trip, and I’d like to thank the ITW team for all of their help getting so much accomplished. Some of the long list of tasks we accomplished are: - replacing the ultrasound machine at Nawanyago
- bringing uninterrupted power sources (UPS) to Kamuli Mission Hospital and Nawanyago to resolve unstable power issues
- troubleshooting image transmission at Nawanyago, and
- visiting and assessing sites for the next ITW model implementations and control sites.
A highlight of my trip was that I got to participate in the normal delivery of a healthy baby (an ITW mom with a normal ultrasound) at Nawanyago. Because so many women die in childbirth, anxiety around deliveries is often very high. Sister Angela says that knowing that the ultrasound is normal makes everyone more relaxed during the delivery; hence, everything goes much more smoothly.
The woman to the left had twins that were first discovered through the ITW protocol - one cephalic, one breech. The breech baby was manually turned at the time of delivery and both were born successfully at Nawanyago!
The photo to the bottom-right is of an infant immunization at 6 weeks – in the ITW model, we can collect post natal data from the ITW moms during this visit to find out more about the birth history. This is efficient for ITW outcomes collection. Unfortunately after the 6 week immunizations, many families never come back for follow-up immunizations. As a result, the rate of deaths from tetanus in the area is very high. The ITW community outreach component uses dancing and drumming skits to educate about ultrasound, as well as infant immunizations and HIV testing, the two other areas we target.
Since medical decisions are generally made by the men in the community, the ITW community outreach program through KAPIDA targets the men at vocational centers. This is the best way to reach women and children so they benefit from the outreach. HIV test kits and immunizations are made available. The ITW outreach team includes nurses and counselors from Kamuli Mission Hospital to assist with testing, education and counseling.
It was inspiring to witness the great enthusiasm for the ultrasound at Nawanyago. September was another record month at Nawanyago for both antenatal visits, and clinic deliveries. Thanks to all of you who have made this possible!
PS - During down time, I was entertained by the ITW synchronized swim team (Allan, Picho and Collins)!