Now more than ever we understand the vital role of health workers in keeping communities healthy and safe. World Health Worker Week – organized from April 4-8 by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and the World Health Organization – is a time to express support.

Read below about a few of URC’s frontline health worker heroes. These people – working with the projects URC implements around the world – often are the first and main contact people have with their health care systems. We take pride in the work they do and we think you’ll find them inspiring.

Oak Samitt

Village Malaria Worker, Phnom Kravanh District, Pursat Province, Cambodia

Samitt has made huge contributions to malaria elimination efforts by detecting malaria cases and providing early and timely diagnosis and treatment to prevent the spread of the disease in her village. Working with the Cambodia Malaria Elimination Project 2, she plays a key role in supporting malaria surveillance, ensuring real-time reporting of every malaria case, which is crucial for malaria elimination. In this photo, Samitt conducts malaria testing at a household in Ream Rai Village, Phnom Kravanh District, Pursat Province.

Amadou Malle

Community Health Financing Team Leader, USAID Keneya Nieta, Mali

Malle works with his team to develop strategies to enable the community to mobilize local resources to address their health issues. His work has led to the establishment of village health solidarity funds, in which communities save to finance services such as antenatal care, childbirth, transportation of pregnant or postpartum women and of children under five to the health center for appropriate care. Malle’s efforts are impacting lives.

Ferima Samake

Matron, Municipal Counselor, member of the village health committee of Kokélé in the Sikasso Region of Mali

Samake works for the well-being of her community through the promotion of maternal, neonatal, and child health. Working with USAID Keneya Nieta, she has supported the community solidarity committee to mobilize funding from households, other groups, and the diaspora. This fund in Kokélé supports initial antenatal care for all women contributing to the fund.

Rosemary Mpawalira

Senior Nursing Officer, USAID’s Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in East Central Uganda Activity (USAID’s RHITES-EC)

Uganda’s current infant mortality stands at 43 deaths per 1,000 live births, with 42% of the mortality occurring during the neonatal period. Nurses such as Mpawalira play a key role in ensuring that women receive all essential newborn care services. With training from USAID’s RHITES-EC Activity, Mpawalira continuously mentors others on how to save newborns suffering from complications such as birth asphyxia, prematurity, and sepsis. Having a fully operational neonatal unit at Mayuge Health Center IV, with funding from USAID, has greatly improved newborn health.

Christine Nabwire

Nutrition Focal Person, USAID’s Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in East Central Uganda Activity (USAID’s RHITES-EC) Activity

The East Central Region of Uganda has the second highest anemia prevalence among children under five. With support from USAID’s RHITES-EC Activity, Nabwire visits communities speaking with expectant women, lactating mothers, and men about the importance of good nutrition. She provides guidance on how to maximize scarce resources to ensure that pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children are well-nourished, and creates awareness about which foods to eat and signs of malnutrition. Nabwire carries a tape measure to monitor the growth of young children. This is important to differentiate between children who are small genetically and those who are small due to malnutrition. Her dedication has resulted in a reduced burden of malnutrition cases in the region.