Nine Reasons We Place Health Workers at the Center of Our Efforts

Maureen KanyiginyaMaureen Kanyiginya is a young midwife with a gentle and confident presence. Sitting on a bench in a grassy area outside the rural health center where she works, in western Uganda’s Kabarole District, she looks into the camera and states, “I’m a health worker.” She says she loves mothers, and it’s easy to see how sincere she is. “I really love delivering these babies,” she adds quietly. “I make mothers comfortable.”

Her calm demeanor contrasts with the serious challenges she faces in her job. The facility where she works has no power, so she conducts her deliveries with a small lantern. She lacks the proper instruments to do her job well, and often doesn’t have the drugs that mothers need, due to stockouts. Her personal safety is also a concern. “Sometimes I walk alone in the night from my house to the unit,” she shares.

CapacityPlus’s Wanda Jaskiewicz interviewed Maureen during her recent trip to Uganda. The one-minute video is part of CapacityPlus‘s new series, “I’m a Health Worker.” We created this series to highlight how the project places health workers at the center of its efforts to address the global health workforce shortage.

We asked staff members to conduct informal iPhone videos of health workers they encountered during their trips to various countries. To our delight, we already have nine video clips to include in the launch of this series, and more on the way.

So many of these health workers speak from the heart about what they find most challenging, what they like best about their jobs, and what would help them. In Maureen’s case, it was sobering for us to hear this dedicated midwife talk about the serious obstacles she faces in caring for mothers and delivering their babies safely.

But we also found it heartening to think about the work that Wanda and others are doing to help. As one example, CapacityPlus is developing a comprehensive catalog of strategies, interventions, and tools that countries can tailor to support their health workforce and ensure quality health services through improving productivity, performance, and retention.

We invite you to check out these short clips and explore further by following some of the links below each video. Enjoy, and please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

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