JF Kapnek Trust | Zimbabwe




Apr 2015



One word to describe today… SUCCESS! Though the last few months have been anything but idle, today – after many times of trial and error with troubleshooting – we finally figured out the glitch that was keeping the tablets from syncing with the main server. The tablet program is up and running!

This whole program has been on my radar essentially since day one of my arrival here in Zim. Hillary (program director of the OVC) arranged for me to go out with the crew that transports nurses from local clinics to the schools, so that they can spend the day with the children to assess their health condition, take basic measurements, and provide immunizations. I’m not sure what exactly I had in mind before going out there, but it was nothing like this. At some schools there were hundreds of children and their mothers, with perhaps only a nurse and a few other health workers to perform the assessments. But with amazingly light-hearted attitudes, and patience among the families and staff alike, the health assessments were performed. On paper. Tons and tons of paper.

Reality sank in once I returned back to the office – all of those paper health assessments completed by the nurses would now have to be entered into the computer system. It doesn’t sound too bad in theory…. Except that last year alone Kapnek performed over 26,000 health assessments!! And these assessments happen basically year round (except during school breaks). My officemates informed me that we were thousands of sheets behind in entering data already…

And so the tablet idea was conceived – to have the nurses enter the children’s health data into a user-friendly survey on a computer tablet, allowing the data to be sent directly from the tablet to the server back in the Kapnek office. This way the data could be used more effectively for analyzing and evaluating the health conditions of the kids and also the impact of the program. Equally enticing…. no more daunting stacks of paper health assessments to be entered!!

I also learned how much work goes beyond simply the conception of a good idea. There was the research of devices, planning, creating survey forms, setting up the server, coordinating with staff, testing the usability… the list goes on. But with the collaboration of all of the amazing Kapnek staff, the tablet program is ready to be put in place for the upcoming school term. Now back to figuring out how to enter those thousands of backlogged health assessments….

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