Week 6 started with Liz and I meeting a team from the Ministry of Health who asked us to help them with malaria surveillance. We went up to Muraba Health Center, where we went through logbooks and reported cases of Malaria on an excel sheet for the ministry. Out of the 400 or so people tested that Liz and I went through, about 90% of them tested positive for malaria which was pretty surprising to me. This was one of the several data-entering days. The ministry explained that once the data was compiled, there would be some data analysis looking for increased prevalence/incidents of malaria compared to the normal background prevalence. They said they would also be going to the field to verify some cases and look for causes of the rise in malaria cases.
The work-week also included an interview with a current Agricultural Officer as one of the key experts for the pesticide study. Lastly, there are current cholera outbreaks in different districts and Mbale is actively responding to prevent it here. The efforts have included meetings to plan for an outbreak, should it occur. Additionally, we were able to witness the DHO, Spotlight on Africa, the Uganda Red Cross, and VHTs all join forces to prevent cholera at the community level. They all met to discuss their plan and Spotlight distributed Aquifer tablets to all partners to distribute to households for the next month. I was very much impressed by the fast response and effective collaboration to take preventive measures against cholera.
Last but not least, we all went to the Nyero Rock Paintings with colleagues and got to know one of the families! I could write a whole blog post just on this day because of my love for art history and my love for people – so maybe I’ll wait and come back to this another week.