Partnering with Omni Med
For this global learning experience, GW Nursing partners with Omni Med, a NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) in operation since 1998. Omni Med has an office and lodging in Ntenjeru, Uganda and have been training and maintaining VHTs (community health workers) there since 2008.
They are located in Mukono District, Uganda. This is the district just east of Kampala on the Jinja Road, roughly 15 miles from Kampala.
Omni Med's interest lies in empowering local communities in health. They do this by engaging clinical health volunteers to train and support community health workers. Working closely with their full-time staff of four, they conduct home visits, travel to remote villages to conduct week-long training sessions, and maintain skills by conducting several quarterly meetings with previously trained VHTs each week. They also have a close affiliation with the Koja Health Clinic where interested students can see patients with various tropical and poverty induced illnesses.
Omni Med strives to provide a unique immersion experience in community-based health care to all levels of U.S. health providers. They aim to provide a powerful, life-changing experience to volunteers while affording them the opportunity to leave behind something of value—education of local people. Most of the volunteers’ time is spent training and maintaining VHTs. Omni Med in partnership with volunteers also constructs protected water sources with local villagers and builds indoor cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution, a major source of pneumonia. Omni Med takes an academic approach, having completed a randomized controlled trial on the efficacy of its work.
GW Nursing aims to work collaboratively with OmniMed to provide a wide spectrum of health-related services and activities in this international community health experience. With expertise aligned with shared vision and goals, we expect a highly successful community health experience with an overarching goal to improve the health outcomes for individuals and communities served in Mukono District, Uganda.
Living and Working Conditions
Omni Med have a well-trained staff that provides orientation and evaluations. They also have a relationship with the physician director of Mukono Health Center IV (the region’s largest) to provide additional support.
Housing and Transportation
Housing is clean and well maintained, with two or three students sharing a room and a single room for faculty. Omni Med transports the GW Nursing team from the airport on arrival, to full meals and all work-related transportation via their own transportation.
Off-site and working areas
Students work in safe conditions. About 50 volunteers over 5 years have worked in the area with none experiencing trauma or illness more than the nuisance variety (transient diarrhea). Omni Med has staff able to respond to any emergencies and transport to Mukono Health Center IV or to Kampala for more serious emergencies. All volunteers must have health and evacuation insurance.
The local language is Luganda, though many people in the region speak English. Omni Med's entire staff is fluent in English, as are most health providers in Uganda. For interactions with VHTs, we always have interpreters available.
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