Monday and Tuesday were public holidays in Uganda, Martyrs Day and Eid. This gave us the chance to meet our two Ugandan teammates from Makerere University and we were shown our house for the next 9 weeks. We shared supper together, eating at our hotel, again with a variety of American foods, and prepared for the next day to meet the District Health Officer. On Wednesday morning we had an introductory meeting with the district health office and his team. We began discussing the set-up of the Ugandan health care system and possible project we could assist with. The DHO described where the district office falls in the line of operations and reporting. We learned that various medical centers are reporting to the DHO in the district of Mbale and each department has a facilitator that checks in with the health clinics. We were introduced to the team leaders and began to discuss possible project ideas.
On Friday we had the opportunity to go out in the field to see how data is collected. With the data district officer and her team, we set out to their farthest Health Center 3. As we were at the office overseeing data it began to rain, not a good thing when you just spent 30 min driving vertically up a mountain on a dirt road. So, fearing we’d get stuck in the mud we gathered our things and began our drive to the next health center, which was Health Center 4. The Health Center 4 was much larger and had a lot more departments. We were shown the log books and got to see how the data is compiled with their various reporting techniques. We were able to visit 3 clinics that day and see how important biostats are collected from health clinics before being reported to the ministry of health. The biostats are an important tool for receiving and allocating funds within the health system.