Transitioning From Field to Research Work for Healthcare
Next Task… Get Married!
The final week?! How did that happen? I’m tying up loose ends, giving as much as I can, and planning to leave exhausted on March 31st when we all go on break. This work is incredible – it takes my whole heart and leaves me spent at the end of every day (usually finishing up around 11pm) but it’s worth it. If you read my earlier blogs, you know that I’ve been here before – I’ve had to pack up and leave Kuria, Kenya three times before. One main difference though, is that each of those times I knew when I would return – this time I don’t. David will be returning as the Healthcare Program Manager, and I will be … GETTING MARRIED! And working stateside, as a Healthcare Program Researcher for some months. Who knows after that?! I get asked all the time “Oh, so when you get married, what are you going to do?” The people asking assume that I’ll say something to the effect of getting another job – I don’t! I always say – my hope is to continue working with Nuru in some capacity for all my life – I don’t know what that looks like right now, but that’s what I’m operating under.I’m really looking forward to the next few months as a researcher in the area of health. I’m sure to learn a lot, and hopefully find some incredible models that might fit our situation here. But while I’m here, I’m still focused on the work. It’s a busy couple of days left –
- I have meetings with Nelly discussing her upcoming goals and tasks.
- I’m assisting our Field Manager in defining tasks for his Field Officers.
- I’m making sure our Commodity Sales books are in order and the Field Officer in charge has a clear understanding of his role.
- I’m leading a lesson about effective weekly work planning for the Nuru CDC and Field Manager staff.
- I’m typing up turnover notes for David about all that’s happened in the Healthcare Program over the past 2 months.
- I’m planning for the future of the Healthcare Program here in Kuria, Kenya.
- I’m saying goodbye (for now – but not forever) to friends and colleagues here.
- I’m soaking up as much of the beauty and surroundings as possible – trying to log it all into memory.
I’ve lived here 9 months of my life in the past year and a half. And I’ve really loved every day of it.As I’m wrapping up, Nelly at the Healthcare team are transitioning our Health Representatives to Community Health Workers. The government has a program called “Community Unit” that we are following in order to get our team of Reps trained and approved to serve the community. We are hoping to have our first of three weeks of training from April 19th – 23rd. We met with the District Coordinator for Community Unit Strategy this week, and he was very helpful in defining the needs for us to set up our unit. I am personally really excited to see how this new strategy affects the daily health of our community. The Community Health Workers (CHWs) will be responsible (by the government expectations) to visit 20 homes continuously (at least once a month – sometimes more) and advise on proper health practices, administer basic first aid (especially for wounds), and even treat some disease with drug kits they are provided. This “level 1” treatment at the household level really enables to people from “the interior” to have access to proper healthcare. I can’t wait to read David’s updates about this program.I will be offline until May 10th when I’ll begin my journey as Healthcare Program Researcher. Maybe you’ll see a blog or two from me on the website, but until then, be well, and keep updated on the Healthcare Program by David. Thanks for reading and supporting Nuru.