TURN OFF THE INSIDE ENGINEER, TURN ON THE SOCIAL SCIENTIST

We have come to the end of the second week, this has been an exciting a ‘deep’ dive into the internship. The week has been overly exciting, seeing the team settle and being anchored by the team members’ strengths is not only exciting but the dawn of a new hope for the realization of the internship goals. My favourite character in the week has been Mada who would always have a different answer to most questions during group discussions and idea sharing sessions. Don’t mistake him for Mr. don’t know nothing but rather a trigger to a different thinking perspective. This has helped our 13-member team to explore different approaches to problems.

The week was for a better part capitalized with meetings with stakeholders for our projects. We managed to meet a fellow engineer and also an epidemiologist who also happened to be a former nurse. Meeting these people was important as it helped clarify our team assignment and helped us to contextualize the problems. We have learnt with regret that our healthcare system is surely lacking an as a citizen my heart bleeds! The bleeding is in a sense a source of energy to keep moving forward with the projects as it is evident from the ‘chat’ with the two that the projects we are doing are not merely wants but needs for the health sector.

Did I mention we had a workshop? Well we did, the essence of the workshop was to help us with project scoping and understanding the problem. Well after attending the workshop a lot has changed. As an engineer, one has to learn to switch off the inside engineer and turn on a social scientist and avoid leading questions when trying to understand the problem from clients, stakeholders and users. The good part of the workshop also was food “kupanikizika ndizakudya mwana wa amayi”. As we retire for the weekend we finish off the paper work document everything and recharge for week three, from your favourite biomedical engineer its bye bye lets change the healthcare system one innovation at a time.


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