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“I have been able to restore hope to PLHIV in my community” – Nipael John, a 26 year old para social worker in Tanzania. Read more about how she provides support for at risk populations in her spotlight story below.
Nipael John, 26, is a para social worker in Yongwe village, Chanika ward, just outside Tanzania’s business capital of Dar es Salaam. Armed with targeted training in key social work, child development, and case management skills, Nipael provides community-based support at the household level for orphans and vulnerable children, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other at risk populations.
Under Tanzania’s new task sharing policy, social welfare workers like Nipael have expanded roles in the caring for the population in addition to providing psycho-social support and linking them to crucial medical and social services.
“I am proud to be a frontline social service worker because I have been able to restore hope in some people living with HIV in my community. This has enabled them to continue with treatment.”
“I’ve been able to reach out to many young people in my community” – Audriana Manyuku, a 21-year-old health volunteer at Kalewa Camp Hospital as part of the Zambia Defense Forces Military Medical Services. Read more about how she supports the hospital as volunteer and adolescent coordinator in her spotlight story below.
Audriana Manyuku (left) works as a health volunteer at Kalewa Camp Hospital. Part of the Zambia Defense Forces (ZDF) Military Medical Services, the hospital is situated in Ndola, Copperbelt region. As a health volunteer and adolescent coordinator, 21-year-old Audriana plays a critical role at the hospital, which is in a region where HIV prevalence rates are among the highest in Zambia.
“My job is to follow up with HIV patients who miss medical appointments, particularly adolescents,” Audriana says, noting that a new system that includes a mobile tracking app has made her work much easier bring young people identified as lost to follow-up
The patient tracking system and mobile app enables health workers to input a patient’s national SmartCare identification number, date of appointment, and name of the community health workers (CHW) assigned to the case. CHWs receive an alert prior to the patient’s next appointment, so they can follow up with a reminder.
“With training in the use of mobile technologies for health and the tracking app, I have been able to reach out to many young people in my community who are in need of care and support,” Audriana says. “I also use the Knowledge Management Center at the hospital as a safe space to talk to parents on the importance of disclosing HIV status to their children.”
Fikirte Eshete Beyene
“Nurses are the ambassadors for our patients” – Fikirte Eshete Beyene, an OB/GYN Nurse at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read more about how she’s provided support for more than 15 years in her spotlight story below.
OB/GYN Nurse Fikirte Eshete Beyene has been on the frontlines of patient care at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for more than 15 years. More than 800 women deliver children at St. Paul’s each month.
“We provide antenatal care for more than 100 women each morning and gynecological care to about 80 more each afternoon,” explains Nurse Fikirte, who heads St. Paul’s Reproductive Health Clinic.
“As frontline health workers, nurses are the ambassadors for our patients. We’re a very important part of the health workforce because we are well connected with the patients,” Nurse Fikirte says.
“Nurses are the engineers of patient care” – Berhanu Baylie, a nurse at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read more about how he supports the patients in his spotlight story below.
Nurse Berhanu Baylie is on the frontlines of patient care at St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“We care for patients from admission to treatment,” Nurse Berhanu says.
“Nurses are the engineers and do so much work, from screening the patients when they first arrive to managing their treatment on a daily basis by providing medication, care, and counseling.”
“I am able to support survivors of gender-based violence” – Halima Mnjonjo, a 29-year-old social welfare officers at a dispensary in Tabata, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Read more about how she shupports vulnerable individuals in her spotlight story below.
Halima Mnjonjo, 29, is a social welfare officer working at a dispensary in Tabata, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She works to identify the most vulnerable individuals who cannot access treatment due to various barriers. She also supports survivors of gender-based violence and key populations with psycho-social support and provides family planning and health promotion services within the catchment area.
Under Tanzania’s new task sharing policy, social welfare workers like Halima have expanded roles in the caring for the population in addition to providing psycho-social support and linking them to crucial medical and social services.
“I am proud to be a frontline social service worker because I am able to support survivors of gender-based violence when they are at their most vulnerable moments.”
“Telemedicine helps me provide one-stop medical care to patients” – John Chanda, a Medical Licentiate with the Zamiban Defense Forces helath center in Kabwe. Read more about how he suports military personnel, their families, and the surrounding community in his spotlight story below.
Major John Chanda is a Medical Licentiate (like a physician assistant) with the Zambia Air Force. He works at a Zambian Defense Forces (ZDF) health center in Kabwe, the capital of Central Province. In addition to providing care to military personnel and their families, ZDF health centers are often the only medical facility available to civilians in the surrounding community.
Thanks to a telemedicine project implemented by ZDF with support from AIHA and the Georgia-based Global Partnership for Telehealth, Major Chanda is able to better diagnose and treat patients — particularly those presenting with more complicated ailments.
“Telemedicine has made our work as health personnel more manageable because we are now able to do number of examinations like skin microscope and ear, nose, and throat examinations onsite rather than referring patients to a hospital for specialized check-ups,” Major Chanda explains.
“For ZDF health facilities in rural areas,” he continues, “telemedicine has enabled health personnel to provide quality care and treatment via teleconsultation with the specialists at Maina Soko Military Hospital in
Lusaka, which is the referral hospital for all military medical sites. We present cases in real time via video conferencing. It helps me provide one-stop medical care to patients.”
“Homeless people need to be treated with dignity and respect” – Prince Maletje, a 33-year-old Clinical Associate in South Africa. Read more about how he provides community-oriented primary care and street medicine in his spotlight story below.
Prince Maletje is a 33-year-old South African who was born and raised in Limpopo province, an extremely rural part of the country. He’s a Clinical Associate, which is like a Physician Assistant here in the US.
South Africa launched the ClinA program at three universities as a way to rapidly train and deploy health workers, particularly to rural and under-served parts of the country.
Prince provides community-oriented primary care and street medicine, serving some of the most vulnerable people in Pretoria. He rotates through different sites, including the Tshwane District Outpatient Department, homeless shelters, an HIV/AIDS Clinic in inner-city Pretoria, and local parks and other gathering spots for homeless and disenfranchised people.
“A homeless person may be dirty with torn clothes or may not smell as good as you do, but this individual is a human being who is just not as lucky as you are,” says Prince. “Homeless people need to be appreciated … they need to be treated with dignity and respect.”
“I am seen as a role model in my community because of what I do” – Stellah Kihombo, a 34-year-old social welfare officer for Chanika ward in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Read more about how she supports the most vulnerable populations such as children who are living with or affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in her spotlight story below.
Stellah Kihombo, 34, is a ward social welfare officer for Chanika ward on the outskirts of Tanzania’s business capital of Dar es Salaam. Part of her job is to provide care and support to those who are most vulnerable, such as orphans or other children who living with or affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and key populations at risk for HIV.
Under Tanzania’s new task sharing policy, social welfare workers like Stellah have expanded roles in the caring for the population in addition to providing psycho-social support and linking them to crucial medical and social services.
“I am proud to be a frontline social service worker working to help my community address the psycho-social challenges around HIV/AIDS,” says Stellah. “I play a leadership role and am seen as a role model in my community because of what I do.”
“Clinical practice has brought me as close to the patients as possible” – Winter Mudenda, a Senior Pharmacist at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. Read more about how his role has shifted from behind a drug counter to a more integrated with patient care teams in his spotlight story below.
Mr. Winter Mudenda is a Senior Pharmacist working at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka.
For the past decade, UTH has been shifting more and more toward clinical pharmacy practice. This moves pharmacists from behind a drug counter and integrates them directly into patient care teams and is particularly important for the treatment and management of chronic conditions, including HIV/AIDS.
“Our role as pharmacists is to provide effective HIV/AIDS pharmaceutical care, treatment, and support,” Winter says.
“Our partnership with AIHA has immensely contributed to the successful provision of HIV/AIDS pharmaceutical care in clinical settings and also in training and mentoring pharmacy personnel throughout the country,” he continues, explaining how the project helped UTH introduce satellite pharmacies in high-volume wards to make medicines and advice more accessible to patients and medical teams alike.
“My work gives me professional satisfaction and has brought me as close to the patients as possible,” Winter says. “I am able to provide them with much-needed pharmaceutical care and, with the introduction of satellite pharmacies and clinical pharmacy practice, I am now right where the patients are.
“Muzi and Patrick are my pride and my joy. People like them are where I get courage to do what I do. This is recovery, retribution and transformation all embedded in two people.” – Ntokozo Zulu, a Clinical Associate in Pretoria, South Africa. Read more about how she works with an inner city team to help people with substance abuse problems and the homeless in her spotlight story below.
Ntokozo Zulu is a clinical associate in Pretoria, South Africa. Clinical associates are mid-level medical professionals who earn a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Medical Practice from one of just three universities offering the program in South Africa.
“I am a part of the community orientated substance use program (COSUP), which seeks to help people with substance use disorders,” says Ntokozo.
“Heroin is known as nyaope in Pretoria. Our primary focus is to assist patients who are opioid dependent. We help them by means of harm reduction and by offering an opioid substitute — Methadone,” Ntokozo continues.
Working with the inner city team based in Sunnyside Pretoria, Ntokozo says she sees substance user patients, refugees, and homeless people on a daily basis.
“This has been a life-changing journey and the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life. One thing I have I have learned is that my job somehow helps people find their humanity,” she explains.
“The work I do has led me to ask myself about an old Zulu saying Ubuntu. Ubuntu is usually explained by appeal to the maxim: ‘A person is a person through other persons.’
I take this to mean that a human being can only be a person characterized by moral excellence only by having particular kinds of relationships with others,” Ntokozo says, wondering if we have attained that definition or are we each merely living for ourselves?
“This a question I am yet to answer,” she admits.