Thursday, July 3, 2008

Increased Coverage


This week, another group of jubilant CHWs was trained in texting. Below, you can watch a one-minute excerpt of the training session - Alex is explaining the first steps in operating the phone. At the end, you'll hear a chorus of 'success sounds' - all the phones turning on for the first time by their owners' manipulations.

video

The week has gone very well, and the project's initial success has been noticed by each arm of the hospital. I took a minibus into Lilongwe, which turned out to be a fruitful venture - I rode into Namitete on a bike taxi wielding extra maps, an assortment of push-pins, and a few surge protectors (which will establish a permanent location for CHWs to charge their phones at the hospital).

Each CHW we train and distribute a phone to will be placed on a map of the hospital's catchment area, with a different color pin, depending on their program (Home Based Care, ART Monitors, Reproductive Health Volunteers, Counseling, or Youth Volunteers). Particularly committed volunteers assume multiple roles in their community - they're distinguished by blue pins. The idea is to have the maps, with hundreds of CHWs' locations marked, displayed clearly for the clinical staff at the hospital. This way, a clinician looking to track down a patient need only consult the map, find the nearest, appropriate CHW's identifying number (written on the pin), and send out a text. Here are the new maps, along with the locations of the first 20 dispersed phones:


Tomorrow afternoon, I'm attending the staff meeting for those involved with the hospital's antiretroviral therapy (ART) program. I'll be explaining the project, and the group will determine a protocol for communicating with adherence monitors in the field. Below, you'll see me, sitting with Grace, who coordinates the hospital's ARV provision.


As always, thanks for reading. Any ideas, as this expands?

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