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Repeat HIV Testing in Pregnant Women in Kenya and Tanzania — Training Begins

Photo: Discussing the study's consent form with the nurses of Ilolangulu Health Center.

Wednesday, July 11th 2012

Training began today at the Ilolangulu health center. Ammon Kagoro and I had completed the translation of the study's consent form, put together the data spreadsheets and designed a data collection plan with Killian Mahembe. The next step was to put the plans to the test. The Ilolangulu health center was selected as the pilot site because it has the largest staff and the most patients, and is also the most accessible clinic. This provides the best scenario for working through the challenges of the study in a timely fashion before we engage the remaining five clinics within the Mbola Cluster.

Our two-hour training and brainstorming session today produced several challenges that had previously been overlooked. For example, the nurses asked what would be done for mothers who receive antenatal care in the village but travel to the regional hospital in town in order to give birth. They also asked if we would be providing extra medical gloves to the health center. Their concern is that they will run out of supplies if they perform all the HIV screening tests required for the study. With five additional tests required per patient, it is likely they could, which is something that we will be addressing the coming week in order to ensure that the process of enrolling the remaining clinics in this study is as seamless as possible.

It is easy to be frustrated when new challenges present themselves in the field, but it is important to remember that unexpected challenges are to be expected! The important thing is to plan accordingly and allow ample time to work through the kinks. For now we continue to work the clay. Next week, the kiln.

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned.

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