2021 Project Summary

A grant of £1000 to support the purchase of ipads to enable the use of the CommCare system in the albino skin cancer prevention clinics.

Emily Spence, Programs Manager with Standing Voice explained that since 2016, Standing Voice has built an outreach programme of comprehensive dermatological healthcare for people with albinism in Malawi, which now has over 700 patients enrolled across 5 districts. In 2020, we began preparing to implement a new electronic data collection system (CommCare), to be used in our Skin Cancer Prevention Programme (SCPP). The new patient management system will facilitate data entry at our clinics and ultimately improve our quality of care by allowing us to monitor patients’ skin health over time, tailor our services to individual needs, and identify broad trends in patient data.

We are very grateful to the Friends of Malawi Association for supporting Standing Voice in the roll out of the new data collection system to better monitor health outcomes and ensure high-quality care for people with albinism for years to come.

Bob Kubwenza, Dermatology Officer with Standing Voice said “The introduction of the new database has made our job much simpler. Using the tablets is fast, so I was able to see many more patients at the clinic compared with when we were using paper questionnaires. CommCare has helped ensure clinicians are very thorough when conducting full body examinations, by making sure we do not miss any body parts out. Patients are no longer complaining of long waiting times as the process is much faster for them, including the distribution of sun protective items.”

2020 Project Summary

A grant of £1150 to support the creation & distribution of skin care packages to people with albinism in Malawi.

Emily Spence, Program Manager with Standing Voice reported that the regulations imposed by the Malawian government in response to COVID-19 and the need to safeguard patients from the virus meant we were unable to deliver our skin cancer clinics and training programme as usual. Therefore an alternative means to providing support for the 531 registered patients began with distributing of emergency skin care packages including sunscreen, health information booklets and, where necessary, hygiene kits (masks, soap and sanitary products for women). 43 visits to health centres over 5 districts were conducted, limiting patient numbers to facilitate social distancing, and helping patients avoid public transport by holding clinics nearer their communities. Community dermatologists trained by Standing Voice undertook comprehensive clinical examinations on all patients, referring those in need of more advanced treatment.

We are very grateful to the Friends of Malawi Association for supporting Standing Voice to provide life-saving care to people with albinism during this difficult period.