Friday, 23 April 2010

effin apple

today, an hour before my super huge meeting was supposed to start . . . when i was finalizing proposals, creating powerpoint, printing stuff, etc. the powercord to my ibook stopped working. i fought with it for about 15 minutes until i realized it was pointless and i needed to get all this other stuff done.

i was running around the hotel trying to get these documents printed. i had them on a thumb drive and they would load fine to the antiquated PC's in the business center, but wouldn't print. i started getting more panicy! i had worked on this project since august, and really fought for it. i felt like my but was on the line. the whole reason i was as tenacious about getting here as i was, was that i had to seal this deal.

here is the deal: i am pretty convinced that getting people clean water is a easy win. i also think access to clean water is a human right. so i conceived this project to get access to clean water and training on how to clean water, wash hands, other hygiene and sanitation training out through the christian health associations in zambia and kenya (which are providing approx 70% of the health care in their repective countries) health clinics. i insisted that a rigorous monitoring and evaluation (M&E) component be part of each intervention. this meant that we could only pay for the implimentation of the program in zambia, but we could pay for the M&E in both. i assumed our investment in the M&E would make it easier to sell the buy in on funding implimentation.

in zambia we conducted a baseline study in february in 15 rural clinics. all demonstrated a clear need for the water treatment/hygiene intervention.
The main findings included the following:
• Three (20%) clinics reported treating water the day of the visit
• Four (27%) clinics had uninterrupted access to water
• Of 58 health care workers interviewed, 19% reported having received training on water, sanitation, and hygiene.
• Of 162 clinic clients interviewed, 3% had been taught about handwashing and 2.5% had been taught about water treatment at the clinic on the day of the interview

guess what happens to you if you take any oral meds at these clinics? or you have a big cut that gets cleaned out and sewn up? (i'll give you a hint: infection)

and we wonder why cholera is rampant in these areas??!! the simplest of interventions can turn this completely around. the CDC has used a similar model (to the one we are using in zambia and hoping to use here in kenya) and found that after the intervention:
• 97% of the health facilities had water containers present in patient care areas
• 59% of facilities had at least one container with detectable chlorine residuals present
• 79% of the health care workers interviewed knew the correct water treatment procedure
• 60% of the clients interviewed had been trained on at least one component of the safe water and sanitation protocols
• most importantly cholera and diarrhea rates drop.

for a broader picture, check this out:
• An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to an improved water source.
• The health consequences of inadequate water and sanitation services include and estimated 4 billion cases of diarrhea and 1.9 million deaths each year.

anyway, i felt like sealing this deal today was important. that if we can show this works, we can direct more money to address these issues and save, literally, millions of lives (most under the age of 5).

so of course the UNICEF peeps arrive early and see me running around. i finally beg to just use the hotel's own office stuff and move someone off their computer and print my stuff.

it was kinda a mindblowing meeting. we met and sealed the deal in 45 minutes! it was amazing. so the kenya project is ON! about a million more people are going to have access to clean water now! 200 health clinics will have safe water stations, handwashing stations etc. and 400 community health workers will be trained to teach people the safe water protocols.

anyway, feeling pretty good, i grabbed a cab to westlands to find the apple dealer. i showed him my powercord. he found one that would work. i bought it and then made my way through the infamous nairobi rush hour back to the hotel. on the way back i did the math. the power cord cost $175 i am not exaggerating!

WTF apple???!!!! they are keeping their technology out of the hands of middle income africans by making their already overpriced products MORE expensive in africa?? what is that? i want to call them out. who do i write? i didn't even ask how much an ibook costs here, but if it follows this trend, you are looking at $5000-$7500 laptops.

am i alone in being peeved about this?

also, i have applecare still on my laptop, which means all the parts that don't work are supposed to be fixed for free for the first 3 years i own the machine. but i guess those rules don't apply to africans. i was told that applecare here is only for repairs. HA! because i have had this problem with ibook powercords in the past, and guess what, in the US you take your jacked up cord in to the apple store and they just hand you a new one, no questions asked.

why is there a double standard? UGH! i am super ticked off about this.

okay, i am going to bed, but seriously!

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