MAKING A LIFE SAVER: The Midwives of tomorrow

On a chilly Wednesday morning, I find myself inside an examination room. Being a student myself, I had a longtime imagination of what an examination room looks and feels like, but this one is unlike any other I have been to before.

It’s one with beds, medical equipment, birthing mothers and new born babies. Although volunteers and in some cases dolls are used, for students of the Kibuli School of Nursing and Midwifery (KSNM), this exam is done in a nearly real life labour ward.

And just like in the real world, there are no answer sheets or benches for midwives to sit on. Your actions earn you marks from the watchful invigilators (Professional Midwives).

Any slight mistake could lead to failure. Failure in this exam could in the real world translate to the death of a mother or newborn child.

The exam is done in a nearly real life labour ward with watchful invigilators (professional midwives) awarding marks

This exam challenges students in five key areas (stations) that are crucial in the birthing process, having not more than 10 minutes to complete each.

In simple terms, from the moment a pregnant woman steps into a labour ward, up to when the baby is handed to its mother for the first breastfeeding.

Although this may seem simple to some, consider this; there are no specific actions to perform at each station. And just like in the real world, not all mothers give birth normally or do their babies come out breathing.

So the moment you walk to a station (in the exams), you don’t know what to expect.

Kamusiime Gloria, an examinee gives the Kamusiime Gloria, an examinee gives the “OK” sign to confirm a normal heartbeat of a newborn baby

Moments later without notice, she is given a scenario where the baby's heartbeat has stopped and she has to resuscitate the baby☝Moments later without notice, she is given a scenario where the baby’s heartbeat has stopped and she has to perform resuscitation.

To get a first person account of how challenging the exam is, I talked to Anek Sandrina who is pursuing a Diploma in Midwifery at KSNM.

Unlike other students who did the exam, Anek already has a certificate in midwifery, making her the perfect benchmark to find out how challenging the exam is.

According to Anek, it is the fourth station that challenged her most, also known as “The initial assessment of the mother”. Anek was given a scenario of a pregnant woman who was having convulsions (uncontrollable contractions of muscles) but with normal B.P (Blood Pressure).

An invigilator (with yellow file) watches as a student examinee performs ☝An invigilator (with yellow file) watches as a student examinee performs “The initial examination of the mother”, a crucial step in the lead up to delivery

According to Anek, she “couldn’t take any intervention to help the mother out”.

The intense and no room for error nature of these exams is challenging, but according to Sr. Nakigudde Fatuma, a Midwifery Tutor and the Deputy In charge Clinicals at KSNM, “This is like a preparatory examination for the forthcoming state final exams which they (students) do at the end of their course”.

The purpose of these exams is to “assess whether students have understood what has been taught”, she adds. The pre-state exams consist of 4 written papers with different subject combinations as per discipline of training.

The practical puts the student’s class skills to the test in a nearly real life labour ward. All this is because in a few months’ time, these students will be handling real mothers with convulsions, and newborn babies in need of resuscitation.

So the harder they are trained and tested now, the better they will perform when faced with real challenges in the labour ward. KSNM passes out an average of 35 midwives a year with Certificates or Diplomas.

And with Uganda making great strides in as far as maternal health is concerned, it is the future responsibility of these midwives to make sure that pregnancy as a cause of death is eliminated in Uganda.

Thanks for reading, please follow Adam’s blog for more stories. Also follow me on Facebook (Walusimbi Adam Media), Twitter (@adamwalusimbi) & Instagram (@walusimbiadam).

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Entebbe ready for #RotaryCR17

Scenic routes, great weather plus hundreds of fresh out of highschool Nkumba University freshers 😂. What else could you ask for? Slay Queens/Kings

Well, all the above is only but a fraction of what you’ll find at the Rotary Cancer Run 2017 (In Entebbe) which takes place this Sunday (27th August 2017).

Not in Entebbe??? There’s nothing to worry about 😎. There are 31 other venues countrywide that are hosting the Rotary Cancer Run at the same price (20k) for the same reason: “..construction of Linear accelerator bunker at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital”.

This “Linear accelerator bunker”, pheew.. that’s a long name, let’s just call it a bunker. This bunker will house the brand new cancer machine that was bought the last time out, so that we get to take the fight to the enemy (Cancer).

The run will start at 7:00 on Sunday morning from the Mayor’s Gardens in Entebbe. Heading towards Kitooro, Entebbe Airport, Nakiwogo among others places depending on the distance one wants to go for (5, 10 or 21km).

The Uganda Red Cross will provide first aid to those who need it and Jibu Water will take care of refreshments. Uganda Police, ENHAS (Entebbe Handling Services), DAS Handling Ltd, NMS (National Medical Stores), are among the organizations involved in the Cancer Run in Entebbe.

And if you haven’t got your ticket for the run, check the image below for details:

After getting your ticket, go prepare your running shoes, and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook (Walusimbi Adam Media), Twitter (@adamwalusimbi) & Instagram (@walusimbiadam) for I will cover the event for the online audiences.

New “Ug Power” app naturalizes online electricity payments

The app allows users to save other users’ Yaka meter numbers just like they would in a phone book

The smartphone, mobile money and the internet have changed the way we pay for products and services. Replacing the long lines at the bank with a simple tap on a phone or PC surely sounds convenient. At least that’s what the adverts tell us.

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The "Ug Power" app interface

But if you critically examine the e-pay process (in Uganda) especially for electricity, a series of questions go answered. Like the long account numbers, the absence of a transactions history, the transaction charges and most important of all, flexibility towards various mobile money networks and payment options.
Well, a new mobile app answers all the above. Developed by Ugmart Ltd, the “Ug Power” application erases mobile network boarders, allowing users to buy Yaka tokens using various e-pay options. “You can top up your Yaka using any payment provider available. So far we only have Airtel Money and MTN mobile money. We are still working to add Smart Pesa, Africell Money and VISA. It’ll be possible for a person abroad to buy a Yaka token for their Mum in Uganda”, Says Bernard Tebandeke, one of the app developers. 
The application provides a transactions history with the ability to simply refresh (in case of failure of a transaction) as opposed to the customary method of starting afresh, and also provides the specifics about the unit cost, charges, token numbers and others as seen in the screenshot below.

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Screenshot of the transactions history interface

The app allows users to save other users’ Yaka meter numbers just like they would in a phone book. So if one wants to pay for ‘Mum’, ‘Bro’, ‘Bae’ or ‘Shibubu’, all they have to do is select a name and leave the rest to the app. According to Bernard, the application provides cheaper transaction rates compared to what the telecom companies have to offer.
The “Ug Power” app is now available on Google Play and can be downloaded via this link:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ugmart.power

More screenshots of the app
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Is social media turning our daily lives into a ‘Tell all’?

The real issue lies in whether what started as a trend has turned into a way of life in the electronic world.

“I woke up like this”, “My new look”, “Going shopping”, “Going to bed” are some of the posts a number of social media users put up about their day to day activities, some true others not. But the real issue lies in whether what started as a trend has turned into a way of life in the electronic world.

To delve deep into the matter, I spoke to a number of social media users in regard to what they believe should or shouldn’t be posted online. In other words, when and when not to ‘kiss and tell’.

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Muliika Indy (left), a Ugandan working in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) believes it’s not necessary for one to post everything that happens in their life especially bedroom and relationship matters. Although he makes few such posts himself, seeing more of them on other users’ timelines is a preference. “I can’t stop them because most of their posts kill my boredom sometimes. It’s their lives, their phones, their accounts and mainly their opinions”, says Indy.

img-20170119-wa0090But that isn’t the case with Salama Laila (left), a nursing student from Kamuli, Uganda. She says, “People who post nude pics and bedroom matters are peer pressurized”, and she (Laila) continues to be skeptical about the so called “trend” of posting about one’s day to day activities and coital matters.

When asked if she would post about her day to day activities, Nakaima Bahia’s answer is a hefty “never”. The accounts student from Mbarara attributes her decision to the bevy of online trolls to whom the misfortunes of others call for a “LOL” or “LMAO”.

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Bahia

“Some people online are crazy, you might post wanting some help and people will end up abusing you…So if something happens in my day to day life, I’d rather behave like it never happened…because no one online really cares.”, says Bahia.

For those who post a great deal about their day to day activities online, some feel they have an obligation to do so, like celebrities to their fans. I mean after all the paparazzi already chases after them. But what about the average Joe or Jane, what reasons do they give for posting their day to day activities online?

Mai Abdallah, a Kampala resident posts a great deal about her day to day activities. Scrolling through her Facebook profile is akin to going through the pages of a lifestyle magazine. Posts about when she wakes up, goes to the salon, goes to a party, a new tattoo or in a bikini fill her album.

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Mai

When asked about her reasons for doing so, Mai believes that posting about her day to day activities helps falsify rumors posted about her online. “Those things you are pushed to post not that you want people to know about your day to day life but to prove…..what has been published about your private life by bloggers and newspapers is false. So I end up posting almost everything about me”, says Mai.

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Wadria

Wadria Derrick, a Nkumba University student argues that posting about one’s day to day activities is symmetrical to the invention of social media. To “socialize”. “It’s very fine with me if I posted something about my life on social media because that’s what it means by socializing. Letting people know you and you knowing them back”, says Derrick.

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

There are a series of academic, psychological and sociological theories that explain why people choose to behave the way they do in real life and online. One of them is the Self-verification theory. Wikipedia defines it as;

…a social psychological theory that asserts people want to be known and understood by others according to their firmly held beliefs and feelings about themselves, that is self-views”. Which self-views can be positive or negative.

For example, if a girl believes she has a great body (which is a positive self-view), posting a bikini selfie and attracting likes and good comments will help her “verify” that self-view. And using the same example but on a girl with a negative self-view about her body (being overweight), getting few likes and negative comments will have the same effect, and that is “self-verification”.

Identity Negotiation Theory.

Amana Kaskazi, from the University of Michigan and author of; “Social Network Identity: Facebook, Twitter and Identity Negotiation Theory” describes in detail the ‘Identity Negotiation Theory’:

 “Identity negotiation theory is a sociological process in which people assign roles during the formation of a relationship. It is broken into two components. In the first phase people look for others who see them as they see themselves and approach interactions that are likely to uphold their self-view and self-esteem. This is known as self-verification. In the second phase people make predictions about how the other person will behave, and then act in ways that are likely to make the prediction true. This is called behavioral confirmation (Swann & Ely, 1984).

In his publication, Amana argues that Social Network Sites (SNS) like Facebook and Twitter “enable users to negotiate an identity online”. By creating a profile with aspects like age, gender, employment and others in relation to one’s self-view.

That’s why on social media, “Nakigudde” can turn into “Naks”, a Ugandan resident can “live in New York and work in Pyongyang”, a “single” person can become “engaged” and so on and so forth. Amana further argues that; “In order to protect their identity and preserve their self-view, users are less likely to add someone who might threaten their identity”.

Perhaps that’s why some people won’t add their parents, lecturers, priests, neighbors and other close individuals on social media. Thanks a lot for reading. And please share and keep following Adam’s Blog.

References

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-verification_theory

‘Social Network Identity: Facebook, Twitter and Identity Negotiation Theory’: Amana Kaskazi, University of Michigan.

EID AL-ADHA: The origin of Islam’s holiest day.

Celebrated 70 days after Eid al-Fitr (Festival of breaking the fast), Eid al-Adha also known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, is not only the greatest of two holy days on the Islamic calendar, but also a landmark in the long history of the religion of Islam. Dating back to the time of the Prophet Ibrahim.

Today 1.6 billion Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, a day that traditionally involves animal sacrifice, performing special prayers, feasting, spending time with relatives, donating to the poor and needy, making pilgrimage to Mecca (optional) among other activities that are carried out to the day. But to better understand the origin of this great day, I take you over a thousand years back to the time of Islam’s 6th Prophet, Ibrahim (Alayhi Wasalam)

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An artistic expression of Ibrahim sacrificing his son

During his time as messenger of Allah (the Islamic God), Ibrahim received most of his revelations (from Allah) in the form of dreams, unlike other Prophets like Musa (Moses) and Muhammad who famously received some of Allah’s revelations though a burning bush and Angel Jibril (Gabriel) respectively.

In what was to become the greatest test of his life, and later earn him the title “Grand father of the believers”, Ibrahim had a dream of him sacrificing his son to Allah, a dream he told his son about, and whose response tested Ibrahim’s faith even more. According Surat Saaffaatt (Chapter 37) verse 102 of the Holy Quran, Ibrahim’s son willingly accepted to be sacrificed.

And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.”
[QS. As-Saaffaat: Verse 102]
* Via the Beautiful Holy Qur’an: https://goo.gl/p3W2h4

Through out the process of preparing to sacrifice his son, Ibrahim was constantly tempted by Shaitan (Satan) to disobey Allah’s command by choosing not to sacrifice his beloved son. However, Ibrahim was able to chase the Shaitan away by throwing stones at it and reciting praises of Allah.

And just as Ibrahim proceeded to sacrifice his son, Allah blunted his knife, and instead ordered him to sacrifice a sheep, as he (Ibrahim) had passed this colossal test of faith. Qoran Chapter 37, Verses 103-105 narrates this in astounding detail.

And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon, We called to him, “O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice,…….

[QS. As-Saaffaat: Verses 103 – 107]

* Via the Beautiful Holy Qur’an: https://goo.gl/p3W2h4

During Idd el-Adha celebrations, Muslims commemorate Ibrahim’s sacrifice by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows, camels and other animals whose meat is divided into three portions (for family, neighbours and the needy). Ibrahim’s stoning of the Shaitan is also reenacted by pilgrims in Mecca, a ritual known as “Rami al-Jamarat” or the stoning of the pillars. 

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Pilgrims gather to stone the pillars in Mecca

Earlier in Ibrahim’s life, before the dream to sacrifice his son, Allah had ordered him to construct a house of worship and pilgrimage in Mecca. Ibrahim and his family performed annual pilgrimages to this house and performed rituals, including those that later honoured Ibrahim’s choice to sacrifice his son.

Today the house still stands, and bears its original Arabic name “Kaabah” meaning the “cube”. And Ibrahim’s pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) is considered a pillar of Islamic religion, one of the rituals performed as part of Idd al-Adha celebrations.

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The Kaaba in Mecca

However, the celebration of Idd al-Adha by muslims came hundreds of years after the death of Ibrahim. And this was during the reign of the final Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH). According to www.eid.net.in/history.htm, Swahaba Anas, one of prophet Muhammad’s companions reported that:

When the Prophet Muhammad arrived at the city of Madinah, he found some people celebrating two explicit days in which people used to amuse and entertain by merriment and playing. Prophet Muhammad asked people regarding the nature of these sorts of celebrations and merriment at which people responded that these festivities were occasions of recreation and fun of days of jahilliyah. At this point, the Prophet Muhammad remarked that the Almighty God has set two days of holidays instead of these festivities for you, which is far better: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.

Thanks a lot for reading. Happy Eid to all Muslims. More articles to come your way from Adam’s Blog. And please don’t forget to share.

UPCOMING EVENT: The 9th Annual Nile Gold Jazz and Soul Safari.

For Jazz romantics and soul music enthusiasts, the 9th Annual Nile Gold Jazz and Soul Safari is set to introduce an all new session at this year’s festival.

Scheduled for Saturday 8th October at Lugogo Cricket Oval, the new session has been dubbed the ”AFRO SOUL & RHUMBA CLASSICS”. It (the new session) will be performed live at the festival which will get under way at 3:00pm till midnight.

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From Fathers to Sons to Daughters

According to Tshaka Mayanja, founder of the Nile Gold Jazz and Soul Safari; This session will be headlined by living Ugandan music legends; Moses Matovu, Tony Ssenkebejje and Eddy Ganja who will be backed by a stellar cast of seasoned musicians. The legends will be joined on stage by younger but very talented and successful Ugandan artists. Among these, the sultry vocalist Lillian Mbabazi and Saxophonist Michael Kitanda.

This ‘mix’ of our legendary Elders and the young ones performing these classics on the big stage, is something we’re looking forward to a great deal. They will not only perform their classics, but classics by their peers and contemporaries.
Tshaka Mayanja

The main artist for this year’s Nile Gold Jazz and Soul festival will be the prolific Maxi Priest from England. Accompanied by the trumpeter Lin Rountree and saxophonist Jackiem Joyner from America.

Tickets to the event cost Shs.130,000 for Gold, Platinum goes for Shs.250,000. And for a group of 10 people, they can choose to pay Shs. 2,500,000.

Proceeds from the 9th Annual Jazz and Soul Safari will be chanelled to the Rotary Cancer Run and the game of Cricket.

The event’s organisers “highly doubt anyone will be left seated!” at this year’s festival. And have urged fans to put on the greatest of their “dancing shoes” to the day.