Uganda - Social and Behavior Change Communication Project for Trachoma Reduction
The John Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programs (JHU_CCP) is collaborating with the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) and Sightsavers International to conduct formative research and behavior change communication strategies for the prevention of trachoma project in Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi. The results of the research will be used to provide a consolidated and comprehensive knowledge management repository of tools and guides for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a behavior change campaign to prevent Trachoma infection. The results will also be used to develop audience specific and contextually relevant behavior change communication campaign messages for prevention of Trachoma, especially as they relate to face washing and environmental sanitation. It is also expected that the studies will yield community-level data and recommendations of interest and use to the various health authorities. The research activities may include semi-structured in-depth interviews, and community-based observations.
Global Health Mentor: Basil Safi, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
During my research field placement, I worked with the Stop Malaria Project (SMP) on its evaluation of the Test and Treat Campaign in Central Uganda through the Center for Communication Programs. My role was to supervise data collection as a quality controller with the purpose of assessing the overall impact of the campaign including health providers' adherence to Malaria test results. Malaria is disproportionally prevalent in Uganda, especially among children under the age of five and pregnant women, so it was fulfilling to serve this vulnerable population. It allowed me to actively engage in addressing health disparities which is a passion of mine. Being in the field was an opportunity to apply theory to real life experiences in addition to building my program evaluation skills.
The Ugandan people that I met during my stay were tremendously welcoming and created an incomparable experience. I witnessed the importance of collaboration and the impact of public health initiatives. The partnership between the Ugandan government and Stop Malaria Project has the potential to significantly reduce Malaria related deaths among Ugandans. During my field placement, I also worked with the Uganda Health Marketing Group to analyze trends in the provision of services through its Good Life Clinics. These clinics function to provide quality healthcare services at an affordable cost. They focus on health promotion among the Ugandan people concentrating on four main areas including anti-malarial interventions, maternal and child health, family planning, and HIV and AIDS prevention and management. My experience in Uganda was an invaluable opportunity to serve others while enriching my educational experience.