This week, a team of researchers from Strathmore University led by Principal Investigator Dr. Pratap Kumar, a Senior Lecturer in health systems, convened a three-day workshop to discuss the early emerging qualitative results of the study on improving blood transfusion services.
This workshop forms a key activity for the BLOODSAFE project – Pathways of Innovation in Blood Transfusion Systems in Kenya (PITS Kenya). The project is focused on understanding how to optimize blood transfusion services in lower middle-income countries and is funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), an institution of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.
The team is composed of an international, multidisciplinary team with partners from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre and the Centre for Public Health and Development (CPHD), a Kenyan NGO focused on public health. The key aim of the PITS project is to explore gaps and identify solutions across the blood continuum in a diverse set of sociopolitical contexts within Kenya’s current health setting, namely in Nakuru, Turkana and Siaya counties. The team eventually seeks to implement supply chain solutions and innovative-disruptive techniques aimed at ensuring sustainability and generalizable to similar contexts within the Sub-Saharan subcontinent.
The Qualitative workshop was centered on an initial understanding of the emerging results of the first phase of the research study. The results focus on results from the aforementioned counties – Nakuru, Turkana and Siaya that face varying challenges with the blood transfusion systems. Study teams consisting of research fellows, research associates and assistants gathered to provide feedback and insights on the data collected. The University of Pittsburgh team was led by a qualitative research expert in the blood transfusion systems Linda Barnes, a medical doctor in translational research Alejandro Munoz-Valencia and Dr. Jennifer Makin, an obstetrician gynecologist at the Pittsburgh University Medical Centre.
The team from the Centre for Health and Development included Chairman Dr. Bernard Olayo, Executive Director Dr. James Okongo and Muthono Mate. This team discussed critical parts of the study including key frameworks, constructs and measures from the literature that are essential in understanding the meanings of the data from the field. The discussions also included collaboratively building a coding framework to make meanings from the collected data.
Many of the research assistants reported on the learning experience that they had. One of the research assistants, Cindy Makanga, said “The workshop provided an opportunity to gain hands-on skills such as learning how to use the MAXQDA software. It also provided an opportunity to explore how different research models are used to gain a deeper understanding of the blood transfusion services that are qualitative, quantitative and process maps.”
Article by: Jackline O. Aridi Ph.D., PITS Project Manager/Research Fellow/Adjunct Faculty, Institute for Healthcare Management at Strathmore University Business School
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