To kick off World Health Worker Week (April 5 – 11) we are sharing photos and stories of some of the health workers we’ve met around the world over the years who work tirelessly to keep women, children, and families healthy and most importantly alive.
In the sub-Saharan and Asian countries where we have met these health workers, many of the ailments they treat every day can cause severe illness in their patients and even death. That is why it is important to not only provide the much-needed resources and support health workers need to do their jobs effectively and train many more health workers, it’s also important to thank them for the work they do. That is why World Health Worker Week was started — to celebrate health workers, but also to acknowledge the challenges they face every day and help rally the world’s global health community, civil society, and governments to fix those health worker challenges.
Below are photos of health workers we have met in the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, and India. We celebrate them!
Featured Health Worker Posts
- Meeting Frontline Health Workers in Delhi: We met them in a perfect spot under a shade tree on a blazing hot morning with temperatures reaching well above 100 degrees even before most headed out for the day. When we arrived at the Okhla community courtyard the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) and Anganwadi health workers had already patiently waited for us with purses on laps and hands crossed talking quietly amongst themselves. They welcomed us as we sat.
- How Ethiopia is Scaling Midwifery to Save Mothers, Newborns: Today there are nearly 7000 midwives in Ethiopia (2520 graduated in 2012), up from 1139 midwives in 2011; notable progress to be sure. Despite scaling up the number of midwives here, the increased rate of institutional deliveries is slow-going. Cultural customs prevent many women from delivering at a health center or hospital. These women opt to deliver at home and whether or not she is attended by a trained birth attendant is a toss-up, especially in the deepest rural parts of the country.
- Meeting Dismus Mwalukanda, a Health Worker in Zambia: I walked quickly beside Dismus Mwalukwanda on a sandy path bordered by overgrown shrubbery leading through the bush to rural homes outside of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. Mwalukwanda, 43, is a frontline health worker for the Njovo Village and took me to visit a family whose young children he has treated often for malaria. Mwalukwand is in charge of helping families in his area make steps toward malaria prevention like ensuring the use of bed nets and he also tests and treats patients who come down with malaria. During the rainy season Mwalukwanda, who is married and has eight children, can see 25 homes a day.
- How PSI Reinforces Positive Reinforcement Through Branding, Edutainment: A quick walk-through of Dr. John’s clinic shows sure signs of Familia branding from aprons hanging in reception areas to an orange-accented nurse’s uniform and Familia teaching materials. Tumaini Mission Dispensary, a private clinic less than twenty minutes away from Mission Mbagala Dispensary, also boasts Familia branding throughout its facility and is in the process of completing a brand-new maternal health unit to better serve its clients, but also lacks funding for beds and equipment, but has plans, perhaps overly ambitious, to open in January.
Find out how you can be a part of World Health Worker Week at frontlinehealthworkers.org/worldhealthworkerweek.