Behind the Scenes at a Kampala Clinic

CASE Fellow Evelyn Powery

This post was written by Evelyn Powery, a Fuqua MBA 2015 graduate. While at Fuqua, she served as student co-chair for CASE i3 and as a CASE Fellow. Prior to Fuqua, Evelyn served in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching high school English and training Filipino teachers and principals. Evelyn’s internship was supported by the Innovations in Healthcare, the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD), and CASE’s Summer Internship Fund (SIF). Learn more about SIF at the bottom on this post!

 


As the sun rises in Kampala, Uganda, Zaina’s toddler daughter Shanita isn’t feeling well. Today Zaina plans to take her to the local clinic. I worked with LifeNet International this summer, which provides medical and management training, pharmaceutical delivery and growth financing to a franchise of clinics to help clinics build capacity.

LifeNet has operated in Burundi since 2012 and expanded into Uganda this year with 10 health center partners.

To get a glimpse into LifeNet’s work, let’s step into Zaina’s world as she takes her daughter into the local health clinic.

The area where Zaina and her daughter Shanita live. They must travel several kilometers to the local clinic.

The area where Zaina and her daughter Shanita live. They must travel several kilometers to the local clinic.

Zaina and Shanita first travel a few kilometers to the facility, either by walking or hiring local motorcycle transport.

Zaina and Shanita first travel a few kilometers to the facility, either by walking or hiring local motorcycle transport.

Zaina and Shanita first travel a few kilometers to the facility, either by walking or hiring local motorcycle transport.

Zaina and Shanita first travel a few kilometers to the facility, either by walking or hiring local motorcycle transport.

After awhile, they arrive at the clinic.

After awhile, they arrive at the clinic.

First stop, the waiting room. Zaina checks in with the cashier at reception, pays a $0.30 consultation fee – which is prohibitive for some patients, but thankfully today Zaina can afford it – and joins the other patients waiting. One of the biggest challenges LifeNet’s partner clinics face is long patient waiting time, due to scheduling inefficiencies and limited staff. Zaina knows she might be here waiting for over an hour. Shanita squirms uncomfortably in her lap, and eventually falls asleep.

First stop, the waiting room. Zaina checks in with the cashier at reception, pays a $0.30 consultation fee – which is prohibitive for some patients, but thankfully today Zaina can afford it – and joins the other patients waiting. One of the biggest challenges LifeNet’s partner clinics face is long patient waiting time, due to scheduling inefficiencies and limited staff. Zaina knows she might be here waiting for over an hour. Shanita squirms uncomfortably in her lap, and eventually falls asleep.

After an hour of waiting, the senior nurse calls Zaina and Shanita in. Nurse Claire greets them with a friendly smile. She has seen fussy babies before. In fact, Claire has been working at the clinic for nearly 30 years.

After an hour of waiting, the senior nurse calls Zaina and Shanita in. Nurse Claire greets them with a friendly smile. She has seen fussy babies before. In fact, Claire has been working at the clinic for nearly 30 years.

Claire leads them into the patient room, where they have mosquito nets to protect against diseases like malaria and dengue.

Claire leads them into the patient room, where they have mosquito nets to protect against diseases like malaria and dengue.

Claire spends some time checking Shanita’s vitals, and then she asks Zaina to take her daughter to get some lab work done down the hall. As they walk to the lab facility, they pass the construction happening in the back of the building. The clinic received funding to begin constructing the facility – which is great because they are at full capacity – but construction was halted when donors pulled their funding. The building currently sits unfinished until the facility can afford to finish it.

Claire spends some time checking Shanita’s vitals, and then she asks Zaina to take her daughter to get some lab work done down the hall. As they walk to the lab facility, they pass the construction happening in the back of the building. The clinic received funding to begin constructing the facility – which is great because they are at full capacity – but construction was halted when donors pulled their funding. The building currently sits unfinished until the facility can afford to finish it.

Claire, Zaina and Shanita arrive at the lab, where Prossy the lab technician is ready to take Shanita’s blood. It takes her some time to get the results, but it helps with a proper diagnosis.

Claire, Zaina and Shanita arrive at the lab, where Prossy the lab technician is ready to take Shanita’s blood. It takes her some time to get the results, but it helps with a proper diagnosis.

Claire, Zaina and Shanita arrive at the lab, where Prossy the lab technician is ready to take Shanita’s blood. It takes her some time to get the results, but it helps with a proper diagnosis.

Claire, Zaina and Shanita arrive at the lab, where Prossy the lab technician is ready to take Shanita’s blood. It takes her some time to get the results, but it helps with a proper diagnosis.

Once Shanita has been diagnosed, Zaina heads to the clinic pharmacy to pay for her drugs.

Once Shanita has been diagnosed, Zaina heads to the clinic pharmacy to pay for her drugs.

Zaina and Shanita (pictured) are both happy that the day at the clinic has been a success!

Zaina and Shanita (pictured) are both happy that the day at the clinic has been a success!

Time to head home. Back through bustling Kampala they go! LifeNet started working with these facilities this summer, and they look forward to enhancing the impact these clinics are having on people like Zaina and Shanita in the future.

Time to head home. Back through bustling Kampala they go!
LifeNet started working with these facilities this summer, and they look forward to enhancing the impact these clinics are having on people like Zaina and Shanita in the future.

To read more about Evelyn’s adventure in Uganda with LifeNet, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.


The Summer Internship Fund (SIF) enables first year Duke MBA-Daytime students to learn about the rewards and challenges of social sector management without making a significant financial sacrifice. In addition, the program enables organizations that otherwise could not afford to hire MBA student interns to benefit from students’ expertise.  The SIF has supported more than 170 students, distributed nearly $520,000, and helped to further the mission of many nonprofit and government organizations. Funds are raised through student fundraising and from donors who believe in the mission of the program.  If you would like to contribute, you can donate online using your credit card.


 

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