The Production Foundry had an amazing opportunity to work with Medical Teams International and Cambia Health Systems recently. We traveled to Nakivale Refugee Settlement, where Cambia IT specialists gathered information from staff and volunteers on the ground. Ugandan providers today rely on a cumbersome, paper-based system, which slows down reporting of potential outbreaks and allows them to spread unchecked. This app should change all that. The health provider enters the patient’s information and can check boxes for the diagnosis. The result was a revolutionary new system, an IT solution for monitoring and tracking disease and illness that is significantly more efficient than the previous system.
Working in Uganda is challenging to say the least. Firstly, the weather. It’s hot and it rained almost every day on us, which is difficult when filming primarily outdoors in a muddy environment. It was a struggle to keep everything clean and operational, especially after five days of working in the field.
Local people are extremely friendly and helpful, but of course working in a refugee settlement has its own particular challenges. We had to rely on a combination of luck and scheduling to get all the shots we needed, and sometimes we had to change plans on the fly. That is just part of shooting in an area such as this – you have to have patience above all else, and be prepared to shoot at a different location, or with a different person, all the time.
Health issues are also a concern, and since we were working in medical clinics at a refugee settlement we were very aware of washing our hands and eating the right food. Nonetheless, most of the group did in fact get sick and luckily TPF didn’t have to take a break from any filming (thanks to copious antibiotics).
This was an incredible process and the final images are a testament to that. We hope to do much more similar work in the future.