Monday, November 19, 2007
Andrew Irvin (Nairobi desk officer extraordinare) and I met with Dr. Akwale, the Director of the National Malaria Control Programme first thing this morning. As MENTOR has been invited to carry out malaria control activities by the NMCP it is crucial that we keep them informed. We also met with Dr. Moro, head of the Advocacy/IEC (information/education/communication) Unit at NMCP. Since I will be carrying out IEC activities for MENTOR, this was a critical meeting. NMCP has developed a large number of educational materials that we will be using for our programme. IEC is a critical component of malaria control activities. Many programmes have failed because while they may have distributed thousands of mosquito nets, if they do not educate the community on why they should use nets (many don't even know that mosquitoes transmit malaria) or how to use them properly, they don't get used and are hence useless. There are plenty of stories of large agencies dumping nets (literally out of airplanes) and claiming success in distributing nets, with little or no imact on malaria.
Also met with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board today. We are having several thousands of doses of malaria treatment shipped from Novartis in Switzerland and needed to get importation permits.
Learned the programme budgeting and financial procedures today...i'll be responsible for this in Budalangi...holy cow, i don't even know how to balance my checkbook...! Actually not that hard - just Excel spreadsheets. Every shilling must be accounted for to DFID (UK Department for International Development), who provided the funding for this programme.
There is a presidential election nearing. As we drove around Nairobi (I thought traffic was bad in Kampala but it's worse here) there were rallies going on in various places, of course making traffic even worse.
Another day of meetings and briefings tomorrow then flying to Budalangi early Wednesday morning.
Hope all is well with everyone!
Posted by Laura Hendrix at 8:17 PM