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July 2017

Lutheran Mobile Clinic Malawi CAMM 

July, 2017

     The Lutheran Mobile Clinic writes 10 medical reports for the Malawian government and 2 medical reports for the Central Africa Medical Mission Committee back in the United States.  We report on our antenatal mothers, our clinic attendance, all the cases we see, malaria, HIV Testing and Counseling, and our supplemental feeding programs - just to name a few! 

      When I first came to Malawi, we were only completing these reports on paper.  During my time here, I’ve created the same form for the computer and complete it on there as well as handing in our paper copies to the government as an effort to not only reduce costs (paper and printing are expensive here) but also to reduce the effect on the environment.  The computer donated to LMC over a year ago has been a great blessing to help with this! 

      Yesterday, I was reminded of what a blessing it was as I sat down to work with Miss Jere, our new Head Nurse!  She owns a laptop but has given it to her younger sister who is attending college.  She has had relatively little experience using it and zero experience using Microsoft Excel, which is the program all our forms are in.  As we sat down, I took for granted the experience I have with computers.  I should have asked her about her experience level or how comfortable she felt with computers, especially Excel.  I quickly had to readjust how we were going to complete the end of month reports, and the timeline for the training I had in mind. 

      As we started, I highlighted some of the basics, like how to open a document and how to save a document but then we just dived right in!  The best way to learn is through practice and so that’s what we did.  She is already familiar with how to fill the reports out since she’s been working with us for over 15 years.  What is new is the behind the scenes work of completing the mathematical computations, data entry, and analysis.  By having Miss Jere assist with the end of month reports, it will aid in the transition between Sisters, and help clinic to run more smoothly!

      Over the coming months, Miss Jere and I will work together on the end of the month reports.  When the new Nurse In Charge arrives, I will go through the same process to help her get orientated to the reports.  The next Nurse In Charge and I will only have a short time together.  Her challenge is to not only understand the forms themselves, but also to understand the mathematical computations, data entry, and analysis.  After I’ve left the field, Miss Jere will be hopefully be her resource for end of month paperwork!

      Proverbs 24:3 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.”  In Malawi, a popular saying is, “Pang’ono Pang’ono.”  It translates to, “slowly, slowly or little by little.”  Slowly, slowly I am learning how to explain the end of month tasks.  Little by little I am learning lessons about how to teach the new Sister when she arrives.  Slowly, slowly Miss Jere is learning how to use the computer and Excel.  Little by little the end of month reports will be done.

Your Sister in Christ,
Amanda Oswalt
Nurse In Charge-Lutheran Mobile Clinic