Interning at Mobility Outreach International (MOi) this summer has opened my eyes to many opportunities, and has allowed me to expand my skills. I also had the opportunity to experience and pick up other valuable skills in the fields of global health, computer science, and monitoring and evaluation. MOi is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing high quality orthopedic and physical rehabilitation services to children and adults with limb loss or limb deformities in developing countries, and I have had the opportunity to work with hospitals internationally, that are providing clubfoot services to children.
I had the opportunity to work at MOi last summer, and this summer is drastically different. Last year, I worked primary on web development and graphic design, while this year, I am focusing on monitor and evaluation, using SMS systems such as CommCare and Telerivet to monitor health care workers and patients. I have been working closely with the monitor and evolution officer, and a PhD computer science student from UW to build an effective SMS system that will automatically send messages to parents about their child clubfoot treatment. I am also building an SMS survey that will allow the organization to efficiently monitor the quality of services being provided to patients. For this project, I am writing rules and conditions that will automatically trigger CommCare to send out SMS messages to patients. The complicity of this project is figuring out not only how to send compact SMS messages automatically using different triggers, but also figuring out how patients and doctors can interact with this system by responding to these messages. Although my main project is figuring out how to deploy the SMS system in Vietnam, I have also been working on other projects that are rewarding and I am learning new skills.
Every day at the office brings about different opportunities. A few weeks ago, I was assisting my program officer with her trip to Senegal, where the organization is looking to expand, and also her trip to Sierra Leone where the organization is trying to expand its SMS program to this region. My primary duties for the Sierra Leone trip were setting up over 30 new phones with CommCare, in order for healthcare workers in Sierra Leone to enter in patient data. The purpose of expanding CommCare to Sierra Leone is to allow doctors to start collecting information digitally, instead of on papers, which will allow the organization to collect quality data and improve patient services. I have also been working on entering data that I receive from healthcare workers in Vietnam, Haiti and Sierra Leone, and using this data to create visual analytics. I have been working closely with another intern from UW and assisting with a translation project for an animation about clubfoot in Krio.
Interning at MOi has allowed me to explore other career options, such as global health and has allowed me to think about how my major can be used in a completely different profession. I have built my professional network and started to plan for life after Whitman. The organization and its members have really helped me grow as a young professional, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with Mobility Outreach International. I am excited for what the future holds, and my growth as an individual and a young professional.