April 7, 2017
17 Stories of Health Workers on the Front Lines of Care
Written by Editorial Team at IntraHealth International
This article originally appeared on Vital from IntraHealth. Reposted with permission.
This is our favorite time of year.*
It’s World Health Worker Week, when all eyes are on the nurses, midwives, physicians, and other health workers we rely on throughout our lives.
Well, not all eyes.
Most people don’t realize there’s a global shortage of 18 million health workers on the way. Or that the 20 countries with the highest child mortality rates are also those with the most severe health worker shortages. Or that right now, 70% of countries are unprepared to handle infectious disease outbreaks, largely because of weak health systems and a shortage of lifesaving personnel.
Fortunately, our eyes are on health workers.
Health workers are real people, helping other real people. Their stories are complicated, frustrating, and inspiring. And we love sharing them.
Help us celebrate health workers and the people they help by reading their stories—we’ve gathered 17 of our favorites here in honor of World Health Worker Week 2017. Take a look at what health care looks like through their eyes.
Then make sure your members of Congress know that health workers count—and why.
- Imelda Achieng Wants to Find a Cure for HIV for Her Mum: A loan fund in Kenya is helping this pharmacy student keep her promise from childhood.
- I Am a Midwife and These Are Our Stories: In working with midwives around the world, Tembi Mugore dispenses more than just clinical advice.
- One Family’s Quiet Quest for Namibia’s HIV-Free Generation: A community health worker’s two daughters both share their mother’s air of calm, but only one shares her HIV status.
- Health Workers in Rural Tanzania Find a Connection in the Health Network Programme: Our team traveled to the Lake Zone’s remotest facilities to find out how users can get more from HNP.
- For Midwives in Togo, Counseling Clients on Contraceptives Is Often a Balancing Act: Voluntary informed choice is personal and complicated.
- In Koulikoro, Malian Women with Fistula Find Compassion and Solidarity: Ingrid Marzuola watched as one health worker carefully chased mosquitoes from underneath the bed nets, so the women using them could rest.
- Life at Work for a Community Health Assistant in Zambia: In rural Zambia, community health assistants often go above and beyond their training. But is this safe?
- For One Health Worker, Childbirth Proved More Dangerous than Ebola: Salome was one of 830 women around the world who died that day from problems related to childbirth.
- Winifred, a Health Worker On Call: She was known simply as Omusirishi—“the one who treats”—in Peter’s village.
- In Juba, Women Are on the Front Lines Fighting HIV—and the Stigma Still Attached to It: HIV peer group leaders and members dedicate their time and energy so children, women, and families around the world can get the HIV care they need.
- Loan Program Brings Peace of Mind to Kenya’s Aspiring Frontline Health Workers: All Mercy Wangui Kariuki ever wanted to be was a nurse.
- A Colleague Lost, and the Unknown Devastation of Attacks on Health: Care Sister Veronika’s death is a tragic microcosm of a global problem.
- From Zero Doctors to Three: A Transformation at Bukwo General Hospital: Imagine you and 74,000 other people all had access to just one doctor. That used to be Uganda’s Bukwo District.
- mSakhi Empowers Lata to Improve the Lives of Women in her Community, Including Her Own: Before she became a frontline health worker, Lata was confined to her home, under the watchful eyes of her in-laws.
- From “Weakling” to Surgeon and CEO in Turkana County, Kenya: Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel is a surgeon. Today he operates in the same theatre in which he was born.
- Remember Christine, the HIV Service Provider in Kenya?: Meet Christine Mbala, an HIV testing and counseling service provider at the Vipingo Health Centre in Kilifi County, Kenya.
- Ready to Save Moms’ and Babies’ Lives in Uganda: Dr. Satya Collins is ready and waiting.