Branching Out A Little

Ellie and I were talking on the drive back from the first round of Infant Diagnosis Training at Ekwendeni Mission Hospital today about how I have down pretty well what this Infant Diagnosis thing is all about and how the implementation works. She thinks I should start some other small projects to give myself something more interesting to do.

We’re thinking that for one I’ll do some data analysis and review/revisions of the pre-tests and post-tests for the trainings. (Since this is a pilot project we’re working on and they intend to scale it to the national level next year some time.) The tests need a lot of work, actually. Some of the questions are phrased very poorly. It is also interesting to see where the common misconceptions about HIV/AIDS related topics are here. (For example, the first question on the test is about the HIV prevalence in Malawi. The right answer is 15% of pregnant women are HIV+ which is about 90,000 women. Most people anser 5%, about 10,000 people.) That should be interesting.

I’m also supposed to put together a quick presentation/spiel about what Senior Design is, what I did for my project and what I would like health care providers here to do for me (provide ideas of possible projects.)

I’m going to spend a couple days now in a variety of different labs. Sometime this week I’m going to spend the day in the lab of the Mzuzu Central Hospital. The lab director invited me to hang around for a while and gave me the idea for the presentation about Senior Design and my project. I’m also hoping to drop in on the labs at other places while Ellie is doing some follow-up with the ARV clinics. Thursday we’re planning to go back to Nkhata Bay (just for the day) and I hope to see the lab there and compare a more under-funded district hospital lab to a relatively well funded one (MCH). I also want to see the lab of the Mzuzu Health Center, which is distinct from a hospital and is supposed to be a much different laboratory experience.

Ellie would also like for me to come up with something that would make tracking of the success of the ARV clinics at treating children. Essentially she wants an Excel spreadsheet that you can enter raw data (like the number of new children, the number of new adults, etc) and do some pretty basic computations.

It’ll be exciting to do some other things.

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