“I’m a Health Worker”: Saving Lives in Rural Uganda

Bernard Tayebwa and Dr. Solomon AsiimweBernard Tayebwa knows how important his job is to his community. His favorite part of being a senior clinical officer at Rugyeyo Health Center III in Kanungu District, Uganda, is nothing less than “saving the lives of patients.”

To the north in Kabarole District, Dr. Solomon Asiimwe articulates the flip side of the lifesaving nature of their work. The toughest part of his job as a medical officer at Kitojo Integrated Development Association, an NGO hospital, “is when I care for patients and sometimes they don’t improve, sometimes they are terminally ill and they pass away.”

Both men work in Uganda’s Western Region, bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They voice similar frustrations about shortages of drugs and equipment they need to do their jobs. “At times we find that there is a problem of essential drugs [not being available],” says Tayebwa. Dr. Asiimwe notes that “improved supply of the essential medical equipment” would be extremely helpful.

They also share an interest in learning and improving. “What would help me in saving the lives of our community members is having more knowledge and skills,” says Tayebwa. Dr. Asiimwe reflects, “If I could have more training, and specialize in a certain field, and have more mentorship by more senior, experienced doctors, I think I can be better.”

’s Wanda Jaskiewicz interviewed these dedicated health workers during her recent trip to Uganda. A new video series called “I’m a Health Worker” highlights how we place health workers at the center of our efforts. Wanda’s working to help Uganda and other countries support their health workforce and ensure quality health services through improving productivity, performance, and retention. CapacityPlus is developing a comprehensive catalog of strategies, interventions, and tools that countries can tailor to support and improve the health workforce in their specific context.

Regarding the two health workers’ comments about lacking drugs and equipment, CapacityPlus is working with the People that Deliver initiative to strengthen the workforce for health supply chain management. On July 26, CapacityPlus will host an interactive event at the International AIDS Conference on the challenges and opportunities for developing a strong and sustainable health supply chain workforce.

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