This week I was in Entebbe, Uganda for the Cross Country Learning Event (CCLE) on Health. The event is an essential part of the Connect4Change Alliance of which we are a main partner. The last CCLE event on Health was held around 3 years ago in Tanzania. This event was initially supposed to take place in Mali, but due to the political unrest there it was moved to Uganda. The event is aimed at getting all the partners in Connect4Change that work on health together for a week to share their expertise on ICT (aka “Information and Communication Technology”) in health, and learn from one another.

Picture above: The participants of the CCLE in Entebbe in action.

In total partners from 6 African countries were represented. From Ghana we had ACDEP, SEND, and CHAG joining. From Mali, Muso Ladamunen, AAAG, and CERTES were present. Malawi had just one representative, namely GNC. The partners from Malawi were Mzuzu Diocese, Nhkoma Hospital, and National Organisation of Nurses and Midwifes. From Tanzania we had DHMIS, ELCT, Afya Pro Foundation, and from the Ministry the Telemedicine Coordinator. The Ugandans were represented in full force by UCMB, Health Child, UNHCO, Diocese of Jinja, and i-Network.

The main Alliance partners from the Netherlands that joined were IICD, Cordaid, Text to Change, and Akvo. You can see all the individual participants that joined here.

Given that the central theme was learning from one another, lots of interactive and participatory workshops were held here. This proved to be very useful for all those involved. It really gave the participants an opportunity to gain more insights in what others are doing, which they in turn can also integrate in their own activities back home. I managed to do a number of short Flip video interviews with some people on their impressions. Below you can see the playlist of those videos.

We also had a day field visit to Jinja, where Health Child is operating from. We got a more in-depth look at how Text to Change has been integrating their SMS services in gathering data via text messages and mobilising women locally on maternal health related issues. I also got a chance to handout our ‘Video Update of the Month’ prize to Olivia Nalweyiso, who has been a very active Akvo RSR user.

Above: Olivia Nalweyiso receiving our ‘Video Update of the Month’ prize, which is a Flip Camera.

We had a good week here in Entebbe. The days were long but proved to be dynamic and energising at the same time. One participant’s end quote of the week summed it up: “Even though you wanted to dose, you wouldn’t because of its interactive and interesting nature.”

Luuk Diphoorn is based in Nairobi and is leading its East Africa programmes.