Feature Stories

Addressing noncommunicable diseases

For four months Stella Fikiri underwent a variety of tests at several private health care institutions, before finally being diagnosed with diabetes at the Magomeni Public Health Facility in Kinondoni, a district in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Eliminating hepatitis

When Jean Paul Nduwumwe decided to have a hepatitis test while accompanying his pregnant wife on a clinic visit, he had no idea that following a positive result and three months of treatment his health and well-being would be restored, and he would feel “reborn”.

Strengthening ICU bed capacity

With its mountainous terrain and use of donkeys and horses as primary modes of transport, Berea Hospital nurse Sello Ramakanate says the consequent high incidence of traumatic brain injuries in Lesotho is compounded by limited critical care, pushing up deaths rates.

Anti-tobacco initiative yields results

Namudu Kareen*, 30, an anti-tobacco advocate in Uganda, was forced to face up to the impact of smoking on her health when her damaged lungs could not supply the necessary oxygen she needed after undergoing surgery in 2020. She needed a ventilator, a machine to help her breathe. The eldest of five children, she stopped smoking a year later and committed to encouraging others to follow suit.

Mobile clinics fill health care gap

Attending a health centre was an “unattainable luxury” after the Batsirai and Emnati cyclones hit Madagascar’s south-eastern Vatovavy region in February 2022, cutting off any access to care for Toky Rabemaharo and his community.

Transforming chronic disease care

Challenged by high cholesterol levels and hypertension, and later diabetes, 58-year-old Mola Admassie says his life has significantly changed thanks to the availability of noncommunicable disease services at the health centre 600 metres from his home.

Self-injectable contraception successes

"My husband was against contraceptive," recalls Aïssa*. She recently gave birth to triplets. She has four older children, the youngest barely two years old. "Since the triplets, the financial burden has grown so much that it's been easier to persuade him," she adds.