April 2015

Health Worker Spotlight: Heroes in the Fight for an AIDS-Free Generation

Created by:

Katy Bildahl



World Health Worker Week is an important time to recognize those who are working on the frontlines including doctors, nurses, community health workers and other professionals who play a central role in our progress toward achieving an AIDS-free generation. It is also important to acknowledge the critical workforce shortages that exist around the world, particularly in Africa where it is estimated that one million additional health workers are needed to meet the continent’s needs. Below are stories of passionate and dedicated health workers who are committed to ending pediatric HIV/AIDS. 

EGPAF and Riders for Health Partnership to Fight AIDS in Malawi Featured on BBC News – Since July 2014, EGPAF and Riders for Health have been working together to employ and train a team of eight motorcycle couriers to expedite the delivery of laboratory samples to district hospitals and then return HIV test results to patients—including mothers and their HIV-exposed infants—making it easier and faster for people to learn their HIV status and start a treatment regimen.

In Honor of a Friend, One Health Worker Fills the Gap in Kenya’s HIV/AIDS Care Workforce – With a father as a doctor and a childhood friend diagnosed with HIV, Doreen Agina set her career path early in life. With support from EGPAF, Agina is helping to bridge a crucial health care gap.

Mama Kabeho: The Perspective of an EGPAF Research Nurse in Rwanda – Petronille Musengente is a research nurse working for EGPAF in Kigali, Rwanda. She enrolls eligible HIV-positive pregnant mothers in a PMTCT study at the Rwampara Health Center and follows up with the mother-baby pairs, monitoring their health. Because of her role as a listener and a confidante, the women in the study refer to Musengente as Mama Kabeho.

Midwives: Making Childbirth Safe for Moms and Babies – Midwives do more than deliver babies; they are trusted members of their communities who offer a range of comprehensive sexual reproductive health services, including family planning counseling and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services.

Addressing Health Worker Shortages in Malawi – Many rural areas in Malawi face serious health worker shortages—making it difficult for people living with HIV to access the care and treatment they need. To address this gap, EGPAF has launched a new health worker training scholarship program for people living in these rural communities to join the health work force and provide quality HIV and health services to their communities.