Supporting County Documentation Of Innovations: A Student's Experience
Maarifa Centre has been conducting training to equip university students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and United States International University – Africa (USIU-Africa), with skills to support counties in documenting innovations and best practices. Some of the students have used the skills to document county solutions during their attachment period. Alex Ochote was one of 100 students from JKUAT trained in capturing county knowledge and innovations in a skills workshop organised by the university in collaboration with the World Bank and Maarifa Centre. He completed his 10 weeks’ attachment at Gatundu Level 5 Hospital. While on attachment, Alex and his two colleagues, William Ngikito and Lotaipok Ekuwam, helped the county to document how Gatundu level 5 Hospital reduced patient congestion in the outpatient department by setting up a non-communicable disease centre within the facility. He tells us about his experience:
“I enjoyed my attachment training, and acquired good knowledge. All the staff that I interacted with at the facility and my supervisors were supportive and willing to help me where I needed help, giving me great guidance on work performance. The Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Gitau, and the NCD Centre Deputy Head, Peninah Wanjiru, gave us great support in identifying the case study topic and why the innovation was significant to the hospital. They explained how the hospital had faced serious challenges because too many people were seeking outpatient services for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, which led to overcrowding in the outpatient department. The hospital addressed this challenge by setting up a new centre to provide exclusive services for non-communication diseases. We used the skills we had been taught to conduct the interviews and get information for the case study.
“The most challenging part during the process was during the video interview because we lacked the best device for the job, but we used a mobile phone as an alternative. Video editing was also a matter of concern to us, as we didn’t have good software for it. In addition, some hospital staff refused to participate in the video interviews as they claimed they are not used to such. But we enjoyed the experience and gave it our best effort. We hope to share the case study once it has been reviewed and approved.
“I gained from the information capturing skills during the process and I feel more confident now that I can interact with senior leaders in the county and even interview them. My task was successful because of the knowledge I gained during the Maarifa Centre training in April. I learnt that the documentation process is very important because it helps in knowledge sharing among different counties thus helping in health promotion and disease prevention. I have developed a positive attitude towards the program and if offered another chance of documentation I would do it gladly out of passion.”