David and I spent last week in Bushenyi, a district in Western Uganda, with an IDI team completing the final evaluation of a two year child health pilot program sponsored by none other than Exxon Mobile. The focus of the study was on the health-seeking behavior of families with children under 5 and the effectiveness of Village Health Teams (VHTs).
Due to the unfavorable doctor to patient ratio in Uganda, which the UN estimates to be around 8:100,000, VHTs provide basic health information, medications, and malaria tests to their neighbors. The evaluation surveyed 700+ households in rural villages throughout the district to determine whether or not villagers found the VHT services useful and trustworthy. David and I helped train the 19 data collectors for the first two days and then served as team leaders for the data collectors for the next three days.
Each data collector was assigned one village per day and was tasked with surveying eight households from that village. This meant long hikes on muddy trails through pastures and banana plantations and up and down very steep hills to the remotest corners of these villages. At the end of each grueling day, David and I would double check each survey to ensure quality data collection.
Here’s some photos from the trip – click the image for a slide show.