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Cambia and Medical Teams International: Updates from the field

by Emily Crowe | Nov 21, 2016

This post is from Cambia Health Solution's blog, The Pulse. We're proud that Cambia has been our partner for years, providing invaluable support for our dental program and working over the past year to develop a better system for our Uganda clinics that will provide better healthcare for the massive influx of refugees entering the country-- potentially impacting many lives.

Check out these notes from Cathi Row, one of their employees who volunteered on the ground, working with our teams to refine and implement the project:


Day 4

Today we were able to start using tablets to input patient data in one of the clinics. The clinicians were excited by the new technology and caught on very quickly. I had the opportunity to watch the clinicians work with patients in the outpatient department, which was a remarkable experience.

In the clinics there is very little privacy, and there is a high volume of patients. In a period of three hours, two clinicians met with nearly 80 patients. Patients can be either national, meaning Ugandans, or refugees, and healthcare is provided at no cost to the patient. It’s not uncommon to see a mother seeking care for not only herself, but for that of her small child or infant.

uganda-cambia-clinic

Day 6

Today we traveled to a clinic to learn how the data clerk compiles the data to prepare the monthly report for UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

Watching the process, it took me back to a time years ago when I felt more comfortable with paper processes than electronic processes. The data clerk uses paper tallies from a variety of departments to create a very complex excel spreadsheet.

As we move from department to department to gather data, I am given a clear message of why I am here. In maternity, we hear the cry of newborn literally coming from the room next door. A few minutes later I’m introduced to the mother and her beautiful baby.

uganda-cambia-tablet

Day 8

Today we traveled to one of the clinics to monitor and support clinicians as they used tablets for the first full day of data collection using tablets. After two days of training and testing, the clinicians love using the technology. While we found a few minor issues, things are working well.

Over the next few months we will be validating the accuracy of the data. I also worked with a data clerk on completing a weekly report. Again, much like on Saturday, we went to multiple departments to gather and hand tally data to produce a weekly report. Good news! Next week some of this process will be easier for the data clerk to gather because of the work we have done here.

Day 9

Today was spent attending meetings in the settlement. In Uganda, one of the major accomplishments of the work day includes getting everyone to where they need to go. The process seems much like musical chairs at times. Nine or 10 people traveling to multiple locations in two cars.

One thing you can expect is for plans to change. Today one change included a demonstration that closed a road we needed to travel. Another included an impromptu meeting which lasted longer than expected.

You also can expect to have an opportunity to ride with different people. An important thing to remember – if you know where you are going, you’ll get there, just maybe not in the way you had originally expected.

uganda-cambia-center