Class of 2012-2013
Since my childhood, I have lost people due to health negligence, and even heard stories of how some doctors have left hospitals for greener pastures. I have seen and heard the doctor patient ratio in our main hospital, not to mention the smaller hospitals. I have seen and heard enough what is happening not only around me but also in our health sector- from a twelve-year-old child dying from weakness because of walking twelve kilometers for months in order to access HIV medicine to embezzled funds by some get rich quick guys met for such situations. Thus, I have seen enough health social injustice in my society that I live everyday regretting why I never worked so hard to be the doctor I wanted to be.
However, there is always hope. And that is why GHC is here! My journey to GHC and how I became a fellow is long (a story for another day). With a longtime passion to contribute to the health but without the doctoral qualifications, my time is NOW! Even without medical qualification I have been offered an opportunity to work directly with the health sector which I have always thought about- which brings me closer to my dream. Thus, my placement fellowship is at Infectious Disease Institute (or “IDI,” an organization dealing with HIV aspects) where I work with my American co-fellow Dev, on piloting distance learning courses for health workers. Of course my wish is always to work with the affected people directly.
I am just a distance learning officer who sits in an office and work on this online learning platform for the health worker trainees who come to IDI. I find the best means on ways of passing on the information using different technologies. However, this made no sense of my contribution to the community I cared about, most who I wanted to work with directly. Thus, I got frustrated with my work in the beginning until we (along with my co-fellows) visited IDI main offices Mulago and saw hundreds of sick persons waiting in line for assistance and how the health workers were so busy to help handle all these large masses per day.
It then hit me so hard, to know who I was working for and my work benefit. Then I realized, if I made sure this health worker learned a whole lot better with ability taking a a course while not necessary at the institute and still able to help the large masses of people daily, I helped in making his/her learning come to standard leve. I would also make easier that his/her better skills would be transferred back and appropriately distributed to the community they work with directly, which I cared so much about. Therefore, to give this community the best, I had to make sure the health worker (my health community middle person) gets the best too with a course at his/her own comfort- through quality information and access which would better their skills, thus the implementation and integration of all the different technologies to make this distance learning platform better place for all health workers learning.
This is the drive of my work today, and why I feel privileged to be a GHC fellow and working with ID, and part of a move towards this international- local organisation partnerships for global health equity and justice!