JLA live in Mbale, Africa

Published: 17 April 2020

Toto Gronlund, JLA Adviser, updates us on her work with the Maternal and Newborn Health PSP in Uganda

The first Steering Group meeting of the Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) JLA PSP in Mbale, Uganda, was held in early December 2019.  I am privileged and really pleased to be the Chair of this PSP. Meeting and working with the Steering Group for the first time via teleconference seemed a bit daunting at the outset, but worked perfectly well. We are all getting used to this way of working now. Clearly the MNHPSP has been a step ahead of everyone.

They are great team of enthusiastic and dedicated people, both with lived experience and professionals, and led by the hardworking and passionate, James Ditai, Executive Director of the Sanyu Africa Research Institute.

The PSP went straight into action with a launch, a workshop with a women’s group, and raised the profile and awareness of the PSP with a question-and-answer session on a radio talk show.

The first ‘survey’ to gather questions started on 15 January 2020, primarily face-to-face, not online. James with a midwife, Proscovia Auma, and two research assistants (Monicah Nakyazze and Deborah Namutebi), have conducted hundreds of interviews now, including mums, husbands, families, carers, traditional birthing assistants, ambulance drivers, midwives, and other frontline clinicians. Interviews were held on hospital wards; out in the field in homes and health centres; and a baby care centre. The Traditional Birthing Assistants are able to help the team talk to sex workers and other women who don’t normally seek support from the formal health service.

They are using a neat online data collection (ODK) tool on their mobile phones; the data is transferred to a computer when they are back at the office with Wifi.

Sadly, we have had to come to a pause in this active and vibrant PSP, as Covid19 has now reached Uganda too. Normal service will we hope resume later this year.  In the meantime, I hope you find the photos below interesting.

The MNHPSP is supported by the University of Liverpool, Sanyu Africa Research Institute (Safri) and The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

Follow the JLA PSP on Twitter https://twitter.com/Maternal_jlapsp and see more about the Sanyu Africa Research Institute on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/safri.ac.ug/ 

At the first Steering Group meeting, the team concentrates on reviewing the PSP protocol

Ambulance driver being interviewed

The PSP's first home interview in Namusi


 Retired midwife (right) and traditional birthing assistant (middle) being interviewed

St Kizito Babies' Home care staff were also interviewed 

More JLA news