World Health Workers: Leaders on the Line

Now more than ever we need to recognize the vital role of health workers in keeping communities healthy and safe. World Health Worker Week – organized from April 5-11 by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and the World Health Organization – is a perfect occasion to do so. Read below about a few of URC’s heroes. We take pride in the work they do and we think you'll find them inspiring.



Sylvia Nassozi (right) celebrates International Women's Day 2020

Sylvia Nassozi

Community Referral and Linkage Assistant, USAID Defeat TB Project, Uganda

Sylvia, an employee of USAID Defeat TB’s partner, The AIDS Support Organisation, gives health education talks to patients and does TB community contact tracing. As a member of the quality improvement team at Mulago National Referral Hospital’s TB ward, she helps test and implement changes to improve the quality of TB services. Sylvia set up an appointment system to track lost TB patients and she routinely pre-calls patients to remind them of their appointments. Her efforts have led to a significant improvement in TB patient retention at the Mulago TB Ward.



You Srey Por (right) reviewing distribution data with the project team

You Srey Por

Mobile Malaria Worker, USAID/PMI Cambodia Malaria Elimination Project

In Cambodia, mobile malaria workers reach out to vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations to test and connect workers to treatment and prevention. Each month since 2017, mobile malaria worker, You Srey Por, has tested between 50-100 suspected malaria patients. Of these, two to five test positive for malaria. She distributes forest packs – a backpack with a hammock, hammock net, boots, and insect repellent – and educational materials to the people who work in the forest, going the last mile to reach isolated residents. Read more.



 

Dora Kugonza Byamukama

Counselor, Katabi Military Hospital, Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), Uganda

Dora leads services for children and adolescents at the Katabi Military Hospital and serves as the focal point for HIV/AIDS patient records and tuberculosis services. She ensures antiretroviral therapy (ART) patient data is up to date and mentors fellow health workers, particularly clinicians, on proper patient documentation. Dora set up a children and adolescent HIV clinic day held at the hospital each month resulting in improved treatment outcomes for children and adolescents on ART.



Kibi Tadeo (right) counsels a soldier on health management

Kibi Tadeo

Counselor, Rubongi Military Health Facility, Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), Uganda

Kibi, the in-charge for the health facility’s ART clinic, set up systems to integrate targeted HIV testing in all health facility entry points. The clinic has 760 clients in diverse locations and more than 45 mother-baby pairs receiving ART services. Kibi’s appointment system, together with community drug distribution points for troops, has stabilized client retention. He reviews and manages virally non-suppressed clients through intensive adherence counseling sessions.



 

Martha Atukoit

Nurse, Bombo General Military Hospital, Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), Uganda

As the hospital’s TB focal person, Martha mentors intern doctors, fellow nurses, and students, and provides health education for patients, significantly improving TB diagnosis at the hospital. She is at the forefront of ensuring TB/HIV integration through routine screening for TB among HIV-positive clients. Martha ensures that all TB/HIV co-infected clients are on ART. Through contact tracing, 105 TB cases were notified because of her efforts between October 2019 and March 2020. She improved the TB treatment completion rate at the hospital from 40% in January 2019 to 80% by January 2020.



 

Dr. Shivon Belle-Jarvis

Director, Pediatric Department, Mount St. John’s Medical Centre, Antigua and Barbuda, USAID ASSIST Project

Shivon’s passion for improving health care services in Antigua allows her to rally support and buy-in from key players across Antigua’s health system – from front line health care workers in community-based clinics – to the Minister of Health. Her leadership and dedication led to significant improvements in the care and support of children, newborns, and their families impacted by Zika in Antigua.



Saw Than Lwin (green shirt) provides directly-observed therapy (DOT) to a patient

Saw Than Lwin

Community Health Volunteer, Defeat Malaria Activity, Myanmar

“Villagers were afraid of being tested for malaria and they didn’t trust people, not even primary health care staff. But they trust me because I am a community member,” said Than, a volunteer for the Defeat Malaria Activity. His village experienced high malaria transmission up until 2018 – he was identifying about 30 positive cases for each 300 people tested. In 2019, he tested a similar number of people and found less than 10 positive cases, and in 2020, zero positive cases. Than believes the decrease is due to regular testing and health education sessions in the local Karen language as well as prevention measures including provision of long-lasting insecticide nets and mosquito repellent cream to the community. Than intends to eliminate malaria in the community by 2030.