URC's World TB Day 2018 Heroes

As we commemorate World TB Day 2018, we want to call attention to colleagues on the front lines of TB eradication. Across the board, we take great pride in the work that we do and all that we accomplish. We think you'll find them as inspiring as we do.


Corina Cano

Centro de Salud de Escuintla (HIV/Co-infection Surveillance Strategies for Program Planning in the Central America Region Project), Guatemala

People living with HIV often are also infected with TB. Corina Cano works in Escuintla where the incidence of TB is particularly high. She fosters collaboration between public sector health facilities and social security institutions, training service providers on TB and HIV treatment, care, and prevention. Early detection and timely treatment are key to better patient outcomes.


Araku Felix Johnson

Laboratory Technician, SUSTAIN Project, Uganda

Two of Felix’s strengths are his friendliness and deep connections in the community. Felix meets his patients at bars, outdoors, or in their homes to collect sputum samples, screen immediate family, and deliver results and medication. Felix ensures TB treatment services are available to his clients on their terms.


Joseph Frank Maganda

Volunteer at Multi-Drug Resistant Centre at Iganga Hospital, USAID RHITES-EC Project, Uganda

Frank travels by public transportation and then by foot to reach MDR-TB patients and conduct baseline investigations, health education sessions, and track down the people TB patients have been in contact with. These efforts helped his team of five dedicated healthcare workers register an 84 percent treatment success rate between March 2013 and March 2018. "Any delay in starting treatment hinders patients’ cure of TB," says Frank. "We do not want to see any of them die, so their cure is what drives us to continue working every day."


Simphiwe Mayaphi

Eastern Cape District Coordinator, USAID TB South Africa Project, South Africa

Simphiwe is a positive and energetic communicator who engages with stakeholders at all levels of the community. He has been instrumental in implementing an initiative to encourage farm owners and managers to support regular TB screening and testing of farm workers and their families. Visiting the farms, Simphiwe explains the importance of TB screening and testing and mentors the nurses who provide health services in the community.


Matsie Mphahlele

Infection Control Advisor, USAID TB South Africa Project, South Africa

The FAST approach (Finding TB cases, Actively screening, Separating safely and Treating effectively) aims to improve the quality of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in hospitals to prevent the spread of TB. Due to Matsie’s efforts, 55 South African hospitals are implementing FAST and the National Department of Health has requested that the project scale up the approach to all hospitals across the country.


Brian Ochora

Nursing Assistant, (Defeat TB Project), Uganda

Brian assesses children for TB and provides TB health education to mothers at the pediatric ward of the TB clinic at Naguru Hospital in Kampala. He mentors other health workers on use of the Ministry of Health’s model to diagnose TB in children using a quality improvement method for pediatric TB screening and diagnosis. Brian’s goal is to make sure that no child with TB is missed.


Gladys Sajché

Doctor, HIV Clinic, Coatepeque Hospital (HIV/Co-infection Surveillance Strategies for Program Planning in the Central America Region Project), Guatemala

Poor ventilation in health facility waiting rooms can increase the risk of TB infection from infected patients to uninfected patients, health center staff, and visitors. To mitigate this problem, Dr. Gladys Sajché coordinated with the Coatepeque Hospital’s medical director to implement infection control measures, including moving the hospital’s HIV Clinic to a better ventilated space. The move improves the comfort and safety of both patients, staff, and visitors and reduces infection rates.