Saturday, 8 November 2008

Teaching Key informants (local volunteers) in identifying Blind Children in Mulanje

I am back with more field news from Mulanje, Malawi .That is the problem of being a community eye health specialist; you always want to put your community first and expose them. You are probably aware that my interest is in identifying and helping blind children from the rural areas of Malawi. How we are doing this is through Research that is being conducted in Blantyre under the umbrella of Blantyre Institute for Community Ophthalmology(BICO) ; and I am one of the founding members of this organisation. Basically what we do is that the Project coordinator communicates with the Clinical officer in a particular district (for now Mulanje);the officer together with the District environmental/Public officer go to the village chiefs and asks them to identify what we have called key informants (but the are volunteers) who may be willing to give time and be available to identify blind children. Once the list is combined ,a days training of how to find blind children is organised within the community ;after the session the key informants go and find the children ;and myself and the team go and examine those children within their villages 6 weeks after the training .

Recently in September I was privileged to have 2 of my Optometry externship students from Canada (I will tell you later how this is possible) come along to observe the training which was being conducted at Mbiza Health Centre in Mulanje .We trained 23 volunteers and the training was conducted in the vernacular language (Chichewa).
As you can see this was an exciting moment. In the picture you see the clinical officer teaching the volunteers.
What was the result of this training session? And where does the Research come in? Find out later.
Do you want to know about eye services, blind children or any interesting thing about people in the community in Malawi?
Or do you just want to comment?
What do you think?

Email me!

No comments: