Written by Kate Bishop-Williams and Bianca van Bavel
As we look forward to the new year that lies ahead, we reflect back on some of the exciting work and events that took place in 2018. One such event included a series of results sharing events with collaborators and community members in Buhoma, Uganda, facilitated by IHACC team members Didas Namanya (IHACC Principal Investigator, Uganda Ministry of Health), Kate Bishop-Williams (PhD Student, University of Guelph), Bianca van Bavel (PhD Student, Leeds University), and Grace Asaasira (Research Assistant, Makerere University) in July 2018.
Meeting at Bwindi Community Hospital
The first research meeting occurred at the Bwindi Community Hospital to discuss, interpret, and contextualize the results of PhD student Kate Bishop William’s research about the impacts of weather patterns on hospital admissions and acute respiratory infections. In total, 68 staff members ranging from administration to nurses and doctors attended the meeting. Discussions primarily focused on the interpretation of key findings.
A results dissemination workshop also took place at the Uganda Nursing School Bwindi, in Buhoma, Uganda. In total, 68 participants attended the workshop, with representatives from local Indigenous settlements, local authorities, district and sub-county officials, hospital and nursing school staff, as well as NGOs and village health teams. This was a unique opportunity for a diverse group of people with expertise in different fields to interact and engage directly with the research results and with each other.
Workshop presentations covered preliminary results and key findings from 12 different IHACC-related projects. Topics ranged from Indigenous and non-Indigenous areas of maternal health; impacts of weather and seasonal variability on health and hospital admissions, nutrition, food security, and crops; prevention of vector, water, and food borne diseases; as well as community-based surveillance systems. Three participatory sessions enabled participants to break into smaller groups to discuss specific questions related to the interpretation of results and more. Ideas and perspectives were recorded via different participatory strategies and shared with the larger group afterwards.
In addition to the workshop being a great opportunity to discuss research results, it also presented opportunities for capacity building in Buhoma. For instance, Didas Namanya and Grace Asaasira conducted a training session in public speaking and translation with four students from the Uganda Nursing School Bwindi who later practiced these skills during the workshop.
The full day event provided a space to share preliminary results, discuss findings, listen to feedback, and consult about the future of climate-health monitoring and research activities in Kanungu District. Some participants voiced the desire to have additional targeted meetings to develop these ideas and discussions in greater depth, and the IHACC Research Team looks forward to continuing this dialogue and refining the ways in which we share results, integrate feedback, and inform future research.