Karen Weidart, MPH Candidate
As a Bixby Summer Intern, Karen worked in collaboration with Venture Strategies for Health and Development (VSHD) and the Ministry of Health Zambia to monitor the implementation of the Zambia Misoprostol Pilot Project. The goal of the Zambia Misoprostol Pilot Project is to save mothers’ lives by preventing post partum hemorrhaging at home births with misoprostol tablets for women who are unable to reach a facility to deliver.
In just three months in Zambia, Karen traveled to five districts and twenty rural health centers where the project was being piloted, meeting with many providers, community members and women benefitting from the misoprostol. In her role, Karen worked closely with the National Program Coordinator to identify challenges in the project's implementation, retraining providers and staff as needed, while creating sustainable tools and systems to improve the distribution and documentation of misoprostol by antenatal care providers in rural health centers. Karen monitored data collection and reporting from each site, establishing a consistent flow of data, training a research assistant to complete the data entry upon her departure. Most importantly, Karen saw the incredible impact and future potential of this project firsthand and even though she is now back in Berkeley, Karen remains committed to project, which will conclude in December 2009.