CONFLUX JOURNAL

2017 ISSUE

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Baseline Testing of the Health Effects of the MadiDrop in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Kelly McCain, Amanda Gaylord, Evie Stinger, & Catherine Reynolds

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Abstract

Access to clean water remains a pressing need in the rural Limpopo province of South Africa. Low-cost point of-use water purification methods have the potential to greatly improve the health of children in this area. This water purification research conducted was therefore divided into two focuses: first, an analysis of the effect of different water chemistries on the effectiveness of the MadiDrop, a small ceramic disk impregnated with silver nanoparticles that continually disinfects stored water in households. Second was a collection of baseline data and the installation of point-of-use water purification interventions for a two-year long study on the impact of sustained intervention use on human health, specifically the growth of children. The consequent results suggest that the MadiDrop was effective at purifying water, except in situations with high turbidity. Data for the two-year-long study  is still being collected
and analyzed.

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Going Digital: Implementing an Electronic Medical Record in Totonicapan, Guatemala

John Preston Baker & Korey Marshall

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Abstract

The initial version of an electronic medical record system (EMR), known as SABER 1.0, was implemented in the Emergency Department of an under-resourced hospital in Totonicapán, Guatemala. Over the course of one month
during the summer of 2016, Guatemalan medical students and physicians were trained to use the SABER software, and 63 initial test electronic records were produced. These initial trials indicated that electronic records only took 23 additional seconds to produce and resulted in significantly more patient data in comparison to paper records. In addition, survey results indicated that the Emergency Department staff were enthusiastic about adopting an EMR. However, they also expressed concerns about potential loss of data and difficulties involved in the incorporation of new technology in their hospital. Based upon these results, recommendations were made to continue with the implementation of SABER with several specific improvements that will increase speed, convenience, and functionality of the software. The SABER project demonstrates that EMRs can benefit both patients and staff in resource-limited
hospitals.

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Perceptions of Discharge Instructions by Guatemalan and UVA Community Members and Clinicians 

Joemar Priscila Pazos & Vatsal Patel

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Abstract

Discharge instructions are a crucial piece to the continuum of care that patients should receive at the end of their time in the hospital and clinics. Unfortunately, many patients leave the hospital and health clinics with a limited understanding of their time in the medical center and an even worse understanding of what to expect after leaving the hospital or clinic. This paper looks at the perceptions on the  discharge instructions and post-visitation summaries received from the perspective of patients and clinicians in Guatemala and at the UVA Health System. Ultimately, it was found that for patients who do not speak the native language, patients and physicians believe discharge 
instructions can be improved. Patients and clinicians were
interviewed using qualitative surveys to learn about the current process of delivering post-visit instructions and their effectiveness.

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Palliative Care Practices of Community Health Workers and Professional Nurses in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Mary Kay O'Brien, Jennifer Stueve, & Lillian Ware

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Abstract

In Sub-Saharan Africa, shortages of health workers have negatively affected health care due to the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a result of migration to urban areas and to private institutions. As a
result, CHWs and professional nurses provide needed care in the community. This pilot study sought to understand palliative care practices of and challenges faced by CHWs and professional nurses as well as the feasibility and cultural appropriateness of the Palliative Care for Dignified Dying survey in the Vhembe district of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Through the use of focus group interviews, common themes were identified: Ubuntu and spirituality, direct care, comfort, self-care, and advocacy for bereaved children. This pilot study provided significant evidence that additional hospice facilities are needed in Vhembe district. Due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and loss of cultural traditions resulting from loss of entire generations, now is a prime time to begin to establish a more prominent hospice community.

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Microhub: Analyzing Higher Education Interventions in Rwanda's Refugee Camps

Porter Nenon, Kaija Flood, William  Henagan, & Adam Jones

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Abstract

This summer a team of three University of Virginia students (Porter Nenon, Political and Social Thought; Kaija Flood, Masters of Public Policy; Adam Jones, Economics) travelled to Rwanda to research the state and progress of higher education in the country’s refugee camps. The team hoped to learn about the political and cultural underpinnings of the education infrastructure in Rwandan refugee camps in order to better develop a social enterprise centered on this subject. The team’s research and social entrepreneurial efforts coalesced to form microHub. Once in country, Porter further established the team’s contacts in the higher education and refugee communities. After speaking with various advocacy groups, non-profits, politicians, and educators, microHub settled on working with two specific NGOs that combined the team’s interest in refugee aid and higher education. MicroHub (mHub) assesses Rwandan NGO education platforms to develop predictive statistics and technology implementation plans to better serve the displaced population within Rwanda.