It has been a great week so far working with our amazing lead from the University of Makerere and our colleagues from the IDRC (Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration). The main aim of this partnership is to support the development of the Medicines & Therapeutic Committee (MTC), which will be focused on antimicrobial stewardship practices at Jinja Hospital. Our visit started with meeting our colleagues in Uganda, Freddy Kitutu from the University of Makerere and James Kapisi from the IDRC, to discuss the project and week ahead, plus other very important topics such as the rolex (not to be mistaken for a watch) and kilts.
During the beautiful drive from Kampala to Jinja, and continuing over dinner, we took the opportunity to find out more about how the health system works in Uganda and planned the next couple of days. The start of the week has been extremely busy, meeting healthcare staff throughout Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, ranging from paediatric to adult wards. Taking time to explain our work as behavioural scientists, interested in learning about systems, and behaviours has been crucial to building relationships. The enthusiasm from healthcare professionals in relation to this has been fantastic, with many stating the need for behavioural science. As one doctor put it – “it all comes down to behaviour which involves more than knowing what to do”.
Following this we have been able to shadow ward rounds to learn about communication and decision making, discuss prescribing behaviours and processes with doctors and pharmacists, and understand more about laboratory testing. This has provided fascinating insight into how medical and teaching procedures are conducted.
Last night we spent the evening with our colleagues and some of the healthcare staff from Jinja Hospital at the source of the River Nile. This was fascinating, not only for discussing the project, but also to learn more about Uganda’s history and culture while taking in the incredible view. We are excited to see what lies ahead for this great project and will keep you updated.