This month we took some time to get to know GFAN Speaker Mirriam Banda Chisamba, a midwife from Zambia. We asked her to write down a few words about her work and the importance of the Global Fund. Thank you Mirriam for sharing your story with us.
What work or projects have you been doing in the past years that support the work of the Global Fund and fighting HIV/AIDS, TB or Malaria?
Being a midwife in a rural community of about 15000 people who seek services at the health facility everyday is just the beautiful part of it that I am able to help different people with different ailments which include fighting the three epidemics HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. As a primary health care giver every day I address not only treatment needs buts also prevention and health promotion on the three epidemics.
I provide counselling services as well as screening, testing and provision of treatment (ARVs, Anti Tuberculosis drugs and Anti Malaria). I carry out outreach services taking them as close to the families as possible. I collect and compile reports on the three epidemics on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and report to the District health Office which sends to the Ministry of Health Offices so as to as to keep track on the disease trends and report on drugs stock status. I also distribute long lasting treated mosquito nets provided by the government of Zambia with the support of the Global fund and also help in mobilization of spray operators yearly who carry out indoor residue spraying at the community level.
In June 2019, I participated in outreach and advocacy activities with civil society partners ahead of Global Fund’s 6th Replenishment in Italy, I was invited by Network Italian Salute Globale, the Global Health Italian Network and AIDOS, an organization working with women’s rights, dignity and freedom of choice.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your family?
My partner and I are a discordant couple, of which my partner is HIV positive and has been on Anti Retroviral treatment (ART) for some years now, while on the other hand our three children and I are HIV negative. This is all thanks to the Global fund and the Government of Zambia.
I am currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Midwifery under the University of Zambia.
Last year I experienced the death of a child due to complicated malaria. The guardian delayed in seeking medical attention. The little one was gone just like that a few minutes upon arriving at the facility. My colleagues and I did our part but it was too late even before the malaria results would read the little one was gone too soon. It was so disheartening for me as she would have been saved as the malaria Rapid Diagnostic tests and Malaria treatments are readily available at the facility. As a health care provider and an advocate I will not rest in helping the community to change their health seeking behaviour patterns and as well emphasize on social behavioural change and communication.
Finally a Malaria Free Zambia and the World without the three epidemics is possible if we put our resources and voices together as one to fight them I believe and trust that we can and we will achieve it. MALARIA ENDS WITH ME.