This week in Malawi the health centers are overflowing with children getting their measles vaccine. The Malawian government is trying to get every child without a vaccine to get one by tomorrow! Here is a quote from a Google News article:
“Measles has claimed 195 lives since January  in the impoverished southern African country, prompting authorities to launch a USD 4.2 million (Euro 3.3 million) campaign to vaccinate 6 million children.
Kabuluzi said Malawi is facing “the worst outbreak in a decade”, with
nearly 77 000 measles cases reported, mainly in cities and towns.”
I’ve definitely seen children at Chiponde Clinic with measles.
One of the problems with the measles vaccine is that children in Malawi are supposed to get their vaccine at 9 months and a booster at 4 years, but few seem to get the vaccines at the correct ages, leaving the children susceptible.
Here are some photos from the measles campaign at Makwira Health Center:
You can see that there are tons of people and only a little order
involved. But each child here will get a vaccine and have the date of
the vaccination recorded in their Health Passport. The Health passport
is a very smart tool for Malawian health care. Each person is
responsible to carry their health records in a small notebook and to
take it with them whenever they see a medical professional. At our
malnutrition clinic we record height, weight, and whether the child is
malnourished or not. We also record their number according to our own
records so that a child who comes back to clinic will have their record
updated instead of having a new record for every visit. The system of
people carrying their own records works moderately well, except when
Health Passports are lost, dropped in the mud, or swapped. The ideal
system seems to be having each individual keep their passport and for
the medical officials to keep their own records as well. Between those
two sets of records it is likely that treatment is continued
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.
Every year, the Caltech Society of Women Engineers attends the National SWE conference to network with other SWE Chapters and to hustle for jobs. Last year, the event was in Minneapolis, and the year before in Austin. This time around, it’s in Anaheim which is much more convenient for us. Since it is much closer, we were able to send many more delegates to attend and miss fewer classes in the process of doing so.
It’s truly Autumn in Scotland now. It reached 0 degrees Celsius today, or 32 Fahrenheit for you yanks. They’re setting up the Christmas market downtown (as thanksgiving isn’t a thing here they just skip directly from Halloween to Christmas). Snow isn’t falling, but it does seem to be raining every other day. And it’s pleasant, quite pleasant. The rain turns Edinburgh into even more of a dramatic and beautiful city than usually is.