Saturday, July 2, 2016

We are still working, I promise.

We are still working, I promise.

As Nicole mentioned in her previous post, we are getting down to business with our research. We have been working with KIHEFO (Kigezi Healthcare Foundation), along with various community health centers in the Kabale district. KIHEFO is a very progressive organization led by Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo. The clinic provides a number of services and has a strong community based focus. They provide services from maternity to dental to HIV/AIDs to nutrition rehabilitation and more! It is from Dr. Anguyo that we came up with the idea to focus on cancer, specifically cervical cancer - which is becoming a major issue not only in Uganda, but in all of sub-Saharan Africa. That idea came during a meeting when he mentioned that the stigma that once surrounded HIV/AIDs resembles the stigma now surrounding cancer. Hmm, really? So what is it about cancer that causes stigma? That is what our research seeks to find. Among some initial focus groups, we kept hearing 'cervical cancer' being brought up, and decided to dive in further into that area. Turns out, the country has some campaigns and outreaches to encourage women to go for screening! Screening services are popping up at various health centers all around as more health professionals are being trained to conduct screening. I decided it would be a neat idea to focus on the capacity of health centers to provide screening. A separate survey was developed so that we could get some insight as to what the health center's ability to provide screening is, and the prevalence of cancer cases, treatment and referrals. It has been amazing to speak with health workers because not only do they provide some great information but they are excited to share and have all requested a copy of the report of our findings.

So, lets talk about our living quarters! We call it 'the compound' literally because everything is there. We live, work, eat and even play there. The doctor even lives on the same grounds! There are about 13 students residing at the compound from various states in the U.S. along with another 10 students from a university in Mbarara, Uganda. I also cannot forget our amazing support staff who keep the place operating efficiently! We come together at various times of the day in our communal area - mostly for meals and tv, but we frequently play cards and some traditional 'football' together when we aren't away working. It's truly amazing to see 20+ complete strangers be able to come together and become such great friends. We've truly made some great connections here, professionally and personally. Kare, Banywari - means ok, bye friends! 

1 comment:

  1. I would also like to know what is causing the stigma so please send me also the results of your finding or a copy of your report on my email: