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EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities

Update from the Field: Kate and Vivienne in Uganda!

Written by Vivienne Steele

PART 5

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Although we can hardly believe it, Kate and I are now nearing the end of our field work stay here in Buhoma.

In the past two weeks, we hit a major milestone for our data entry – we have entered all of the data we had aimed to enter, and are now working on entering data from years prior. In the last week, we have made great progress on the health records system report. We have interviewed staff at the hospital, as well as discussed proposed suggestions for the health records system via a focus group. During the focus group, we had a guided conversation about the health records system at BCH, including its uses, applications, strengths and recommendations for improvement. We used a participatory proportional piling activity to reach a group consensus on the best suggestion in terms of priority level, time allowance and cost. We used beans from a local store for the activity, as well as flip charts and markers to initiate and supplement the discussion.

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BEST2As a follow-up to the interviews and focus group, we are preparing the transcripts which will help us set up and guide the discussion for our preliminary results presentation next Monday. We are now focusing on transforming the focus group discussion into report form, in order to provide some suggestions for BCH prior to our departure on Tuesday. We look forward to presenting our preliminary results in a hospital-wide session prior to our departure!

On the past couple of weekends, we have had the chance to see animals in three different National Parks. At Murchison Falls National Park, we had the chance to do a safari BEST3game ride across the savannah. We saw many animals: hippos, antelopes, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, baboons, monkeys and rhinos. We also did a boat cruise along the Nile River, which allowed us to see crocodiles, many different birds and more hippos and elephants.

Mid-week, we visited Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where we spotted a few gorillas preparing their nests for the night.Best12

Last weekend we went to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we saw even more animals. Our guide, Jack, brought us to a hyena den, where we got to see a mother and her week-old hyena. Although we did not see any fig tree- climbing lions as we’d hoped, we got to compare the subtle differences in geography and species within the parks.

During the week, we attended a pick-up football (soccer) game featuring the hospital staff. We also got to visit the Bwindi Orphans Development Centre, where a group of children performed traditional Rukiga songs and dances. With only a week remaining, we are open to any last chances to visit and learn more about Uganda.

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Author: KateBishop-Williams

I am a goal-oriented individual with a passion for epidemiology, participatory methodologies, ecohealth and research. I am organized and efficient, both necessary traits for success in graduate school. I am a clear communicator and put an emphasis on plain language translations and conference attendance in my studies. I have published one peer-previewed article, and have 3 in submission now. I have given 6 academic research presentations at conferences and presented 10 academic posters to date.

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