Global Health Corps and LifeNet International

Beginning in 2012, when GHC and LifeNet International were in their early years, two GHC fellows filled critical capacity gaps in project management and monitoring and evaluation on LifeNet’s team in Burundi. In 2015, the partnership evolved as fellows began working with LifeNet Uganda. GHC’s infusion of talent is accelerating LifeNet’s progress towards their bold goal of transforming care for more than 10,000,000 patient visits annually, across 10 African countries by 2023.

Josh Guenther, LifeNet’s Country Director and a fellow supervisor in Uganda, credits the organization’s partnership with GHC with deepening his team’s impact: “GHC provided access to excellent talent that allowed us to grow sustainably and punch above our weight as a small organization. Massive shifts in how we’ve been reporting about our work and operating can be traced to GHC fellows and alumni.” 

William Mugabi is one of those alumni. He joined LifeNet as a 2016-2017 GHC fellow because his work in private healthcare clinics opened his eyes to deep systemic inequities. He brought his background in software engineering and healthcare management to his role as a Management Officer, working to deliver logistics, training, and supply chain support to health centers.

Beyond his technical skills, Josh points to William’s leadership potential as a major factor in the steady expansion of his scope and influence on the LifeNet team: “William was an obvious choice when it was time to select our next team lead. Like all the fellows GHC has sent our way, he has always had a fire to learn and grow, regardless of position.”

 William is in good company among other GHC alumni including James Kaggwa, Safaa Garelnabi, and Julius Kirya, critical LifeNet team members who’ve led family planning and non-communicable disease initiatives. The team also partnered with alumnus Brian Ssennoga to rollout an mHealth app designed to help clinicians and nurses in rural areas treat patients with high blood pressure.

Current 2020-2021 fellow Steven Twinomugisha is leveraging his design and storytelling expertise to spearhead the launch of LifeNet’s online distance learning platform, which provides partner health facilities with accurate COVID-19 information and more. Josh and William say they’ve benefited from Steven’s flexibility, a trait GHC trains fellows to hone and one that COVID-19 has demanded of leaders everywhere. 

In addition to recruiting a new fellowship pair for the Uganda program, two additional fellows in the 2021-2022 cohort will bolster LifeNet’s team in Malawi. Josh says it’s a timely development: “As we head into our fourth year of operations in Malawi, integrating GHC fellows into the programs early boosts our capacity to grow and scale much sooner than we otherwise could.”

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