11 December 2011

.my site.

Malawi is a small country but long and with the state of fuel and quality of transportation it makes the country feel much bigger. The main source of transport is mini-buses, which are just that small vans that max out at about 35mph and with no designated bus stops you can imagine how a trip that would take an hour in a private car can become a half-day trip in a mini bus. With this in mind PC Malawi has placed volunteers in clusters of sorts with the majority living in the south of the country (this is where most of the population lives). I too will be living in the south in the district of Machinga, all districts have Boma’s which is the largest “town” in the district it is always the same name as the district. Because of the large game park (and the tourist pull) in Liwonde it is actually the largest “town” in the district.  So I will be living in Liwonde and working in Machinga (10km). I guess most of the staff lives in Liwonde so I will be picked up by the staff car and taken to Machinga everyday. Wahoo for carpools.

As for my work to give you a straight-forward answer besides my title District HIV/AIDS Technical Advisor I’m not quite sure what that is going to look like day-to-day.

I will be working in the District office with the District Commissioner, District Planning Officer, and the District AIDS Commissioner.  So depending on these key players it will determine what I will be doing. The idea is that in order to get HIV/AIDS programs support to villages in the district we need to have current and accurate data to know what is being done and if the work is successful. The data collection in the villages is being done by Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and in many cases these people may not have been trained to collect data or know why data even needs to be collected and on top of that might not even literate in Chichewa. SOOO, my job with my co-workers is to visit these CBOs see what data is being collected and if so, is it getting to the DC office? With current and accurate data collection we can them apply for a VAST grant to better support these successful CBOs. PHEW! There are a lot of variables in this but I’m excited for an ultimate public health challenge.
Who will be visiting first??

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