[Work Update] Health Malawi July 2019

The Health team has identified critical challenges that clinicians face within Blantyre’s Healthcare System and has spent extensive time with stakeholders in order to thoroughly understand the resulting impacts. The Health team has also worked closely with the College of Medicine in Malawi to structure and design the medical research protocols necessary to develop a USSD pre-diagnostic triage system. 

This July, the health team will commence conducting the first stage of the research protocol in two clinics in Blantyre. The team will also need to explore the usability of the USSD system and understand how it will be used by patients and in data collection processes at the district level. The team will also continue to build its partnership with the District Health Office in order to understand how to effectively strengthen this working relationship. 

 This will include exploring and understanding the following:

  • How patients communicate their symptoms to the PEV research team as compared to how they communicate their symptoms with clinicians 

  • Patient health literacy 

  • How we can build upon existing government relationships with the District Health Office (DHO) and how we can best provide value from the district to community level 

  • The willingness of clinicians to pay, in the form of usage, to address the challenges they face 

  • How we can work with the DHO Data Analysis Team to best integrate the USSD system to provide value and ease around their data collection, storage and analysis processes 

  • The usability of the USSD system and the most suitable form of its interface for its intended users (Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) and Patients) 

 The way this will be executed by the Health team in July is by running the following experiments:

  • Conducting Research Protocol Stage 1 (RP 1a & 1b) 

  • Currency Testing with the District Health Office 

  • Currency Testing with Heads of Clinics 

  • Utility Testing with the DHO’s Data Analysis Team 

  • Utility Testing with Health Surveillance Assistants and Patients (through running focus groups)  

The July Health team will also carry out the preparations necessary to conduct Research Protocol Stage 2

 Links to the relevant experiments: 

 RP 1a:

RP 1b:

RP 2:

Currency testing with Heads of Clinics:


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