Community and Healthcare
In collaboration with Ungweru, a grass-roots non government organisation based in Mzuzu City Malawi, gHealth Research at UCD is developing strategies and material for community based Healthcare education focused on non-communicable diseases. A pilot study was conducted in February 2014 and involved face to face interviews with both community members and community health workers to appreciate what the baseline understanding is of type 2 diabetes. Data from this study has highlighted many gaps in the knowledge and understanding of type 2 diabetes ranging from prevention, diagnosis, and management. Of note, and more importantly of concern, no health worker was aware of guidelines for the management of diabetes and one quarter felt that they would do nothing if they thought someone had diabetes as there were no facilities available to manage the disease. With non communicable diseases on the rapid increase in Malawi and other African nations, there is a pressing need to focus educational strategies towards these diseases in order to impact the escalating prevalence and understanding of how to manage such conditions.
At gHealth Research third level educational strategies are being spearheaded by Gordon Cooke PhD along with Chris Watson PhD and Dr. Joe Gallagher. Presently we are focused on technology enhanced learning and distant learning approaches in collaboration with Mzuzu University in Malawi. In partnership with Imperial College London, University College Cork, and Airtel Malawi, we are developing educational suits for eHealth, Biomedical and Clinical Research, through the construction of purpose built units on Mzuzu University campus that will serve as “hubs” for distance learning with the aforementioned Universities in both the UK and Ireland.