Tag Archives: HIV testing

A Field Guide to Drones for Global Health: The Good, the Bad, the Unknown

By Belinda O’Donnell

I saw my first drone in action this January. I was walking on the sidewalk and there it was, 50 feet above me, a small black dot in the sky. The sound was somewhere between a couple of bees and a motorbike.

Drones are everywhere, it seems, including the conversation about healthcare delivery. UNICEF and the Government of Malawi have teamed up with Silicon Valley start-up Matternet to see if using small quadcopter UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) can cut transportation times between clinics and centralized labs. The goal is to speed up HIV testing for infants in remote parts of the country.

Continue reading

A Month in Shakawe: The Field Team at Work

Keotshepile Molokwane (right) interviews a woman in her yard in Shakawe.

By Martha Henry

Tourists who visit Botswana’s scenic Okavango Delta rarely visit Shakawe, the most remote village participating in the Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP), a large HIV-prevention trial of over 100,000 people. The results of the trial will likely end up as an orderly table published in a prestigious medical journal. Though the numbers in that table may provide much-needed evidence on how best to operate HIV/AIDS programs across the globe, they won’t show the hard work, mistakes, corrections, and triumphs of the field team. The data won’t reveal the thousands of daily interactions between the Research Assistants (RAs) and the villagers—the stories condensed into each data point. Continue reading