Interview conducted by Michael Korir, one of Medic’s Project Managers based in Nairobi, Kenya. Pictured above, Mercy Amulele.
Medic is a diverse team made up of designers, developers, researchers, and public health specialists. We are united by a common desire to improve health outcomes in rural communities around the world. At Medic, Project Assistants provide on the ground support to health workers and health systems using our tools, as well as act as a liaison between the community and the rest of our team. They train end users on our tools and support designers and project managers in successful project implementation.
Mercy Amulele joined Medic in 2017 as a Project Assistant based in Siaya County, Kenya. In her role, she supports one of our largest deployments alongside the Ministry of Health in Siaya County, Kenya. Previously, she worked with the Kenya Red Cross as an Emergency Operation Center Officer. Mercy holds a diploma in Social Work and Social Development from the University of Nairobi.
Michael Korir, the project manager for our project in Siaya County, interviewed Mercy last week to learn more about her interest in the field and her work with Medic. Here’s what she had to say!
When did you become interested in global & community health?
I first became interested in this field about two years back when I supported a research study led by Moi University in Kenya on Maternal Newborn & Child Health (MNCH) and Nutrition impact study. That specific study involved checking hemoglobin levels of mothers and children and using this information to identify which community members were malnourished.
What does your typical day look like?
A normal day for me starts at around 9 am each morning. I check emails and respond to issues reported by users (Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and Community Health Assistants (CHAs)). After this is done, I head to the field for face-to-face meetings with the users – this activity ends up taking most of the remainder of the day!
How do you, in the context of Medic, describe yourself as a health worker?
I am a health worker in the sense that most of the people I interact with are either CHAs or CHVs and other cadres from the Ministry of Health. My main role is to help them in the smooth delivery of health services to the community. I learn a lot from these interactions about health systems and community health in general.
Mercy Amulele (right) accompanies Henry Otieno (CHA), Lilian Achieng’ (CHV), and Medic teammate Alix Emden on patient visits.
What is the most common feedback you hear back from the health workers that you have trained using Medic tools?
The feedback I hear the most from health workers is that the Medic app is user-friendly and has made their work much easier!
What is one thing you have consistently observed about users of Medic’s tools in the field?
I find that the Community Health Volunteers really enjoy using the Medic app for reporting compared to the paper-based reporting process they previously used.
What is the most challenging part of your position?
Now that we have expanded to support all six-sub-counties in Siaya County I would say that my biggest challenge is moving across the whole county providing support to CHAs and CHVs. Covering the 2,530 km² is not always easy. I walk or ride motorcycle taxis “boda-boda” to reach and support the 2,000+ health workers using our tools.
Location of Siaya County, Kenya and breakdown of six sub-counties supported by Medic app.
What is the most fulfilling part of your position?
The most fulfilling part for me is seeing the health indicators across Siaya County improving! I am particularly excited to see pregnant women in the community receiving 4+ visits prior to delivery. It’s also great to see the number of defaulters reducing as the result of the reminders CHVs give to patients to visit the clinic.
If you weren’t working at Medic, what would you be doing?
I would be somewhere in South Africa working in fashion and design!
What’s on your playlist?
Currently, my playlists have a lot of Bongo music on them! I also regularly listen to Beyonce and a favorite song of mine is Survive by Destiny’s Child.
Interested in meeting more of our team? Check out our team page!