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Prof Harry Hausler visits WHO headquarters to support civil society engagement

In the first week of June 2022, Prof Harry Hausler visited Geneva, Switzerland, in his role as a member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Civil Society Task Force on TB (CSTF). This body exists to “mainstream the voices of TB civil society and survivors in the work of WHO, national TB programmes and multisectoral partners.”[1]

The first few days were spent observing the WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Tuberculosis meeting, which aims to provide the latest scientific and technical guidance to WHO, including briefing the Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the WHO’s TB programme.

Thereafter, the CSTF met to review progress during the previous year and the upcoming year’s workplan. Of particular interest in the upcoming year will be:

  1. The civil society hearing in preparation for the next United Nations High Level Meeting on TB in 2023
  2. Development of WHO guidance for engagement of communities and civil society to end TB

The visit concluded with a meeting with Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the 9th June and a virtual Global Townhall meeting to highlight the CSTF priorities and achievements to date and launch the latest progress report, and to engage with participants in an open dialogue on the future priorities for the Task Force.

 

International Nurses Day: Interview with Thuli Mavuso

Today is International Nurses Day, and this year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health. TB HIV Care values and respects nurses and the work that they do. For International Nurses Day, we’ve interviewed nurses within the organisation, focusing on their journey within the nursing field, lessons learnt throughout their career, and gained insight into their thoughts on the importance of investing in nursing!

1. Take as through your career from where you started to where you are now?

I did my community service at Orlando East Clinic, Psychiatric Department. This was amazing! I loved Psych. During my 2nd year, an opportunity opened up at Jeppe Clinic, where the RN who was doing Psych had left unexpectedly. So, I asked to be transferred there. That was great as well, I really enjoyed it.

I moved to Momentum, doing medical assessments for insurance. After 2 years I joined Jhpiego South Africa doing VMMCs. It started as one site, then lead to more around the Vaal region. I then trained as a trainer and travelled to other provinces, training, DoH clinicians. So, I got to run multiple sites and do trainings.

I was then hired here at TB HIV Care to run five sites in Mpumalanga and North West. So here I am.

2. If you look back on your career, is there anything you wish you had done differently?

No, I don’t feel I have any missed opportunities. Everything just aligns well.

3. What have you enjoyed most about this profession?

I have enjoyed meeting diverse people from the most brilliant, to everyday people, to those living with limitations who are determined to push beyond barriers.

I love when you see you’ve made an impact with someone you’ve met for an hour or less and they say thank you for the services you’ve given them. That always makes me happy and fulfilled.

4. What has been the most challenging part of your career to date?

It’s often difficult to manage people. Mostly because of work ethics, predisposed points of view and knowledge, the biggest factor – is emotions when dealing with challenges or issues.

5. What do you still want to achieve in your career?

I would still like to study further and travel, maybe work and travel to countries on the continent.

6. What advice would you give to aspiring nurses who want to reach a managerial position?

Don’t be complacent, there are vast careers and options in nursing. Not just bedside and chronic care.

7. Are there any qualities or skills that you learnt as a nurse that have served you well in a managerial position?

Working in a psych dept has taught me that a lot affects a person’s mental wellness and social issues are a big challenge when not properly addressed. It has made me appreciate the differences that shape and define our lives and how easily it can change by just deciding and working towards specific goals.

8. The theme for International Nurses Day (IND) 2022 is – Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health, focusing on the need to protect, support and invest in the nursing profession to strengthen health systems around the world. Applied in a South African context, are we investing enough in the nursing profession?

No, I feel most of all the trainings and other information given to nurses is patient/client-focused.

In South Africa especially, we are given a bad name and reputation that we’re unfriendly and apathetic. Yet there are few initiatives that empower and grow the nurse, in terms of people skills and handling stress and unfair work demands etc. Nurses still work 12-hour shifts, they are continuously working in an understaffed environment and they are still expected to give their best. A lot could be done such as looking at new ways to work which is evolving, efficient and empowering.

International Nurses Day: Interview with Jenny Mcloughlin

Today is International Nurses Day, and this year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health. TB HIV Care values and respects nurses and the work that they do. For International Nurses Day, we’ve interviewed nurses within the organisation, focusing on their journey within the nursing field, lessons learnt throughout their career, and gained insight into their thoughts on the importance of investing in nursing!

1. Why did you decide to embark on a career in nursing?

• I wanted to be a nurse as I had a burning desire to care for, serve and help people.

2. Take as through your career from where you started to where you are now?

• I started my nursing training at Addington hospital in the eThekwini district of KZN and graduated as a trained nurse and midwife in 1989. I worked in a district hospital in KZN as a midwife for three years. My passion for taking services to the community resulted in me applying for a primary health care position where I furthered my studies. This afforded me opportunities to work in the NGO and public South African health systems for more than 30 years as a nurse clinician, HIV coordinator, site manager, quality improvement advisor, technical lead and currently – the DREAMS director (at TB HIV Care). I have been responsible for PEPFAR-funded programmes involving multiple partners for more than ten years, first at the University of the Western Cape, where I was responsible for coordinating projects and budget management. I have strong ties with the DoH at the national, provincial, district, and site levels. I have demonstrated the ability to liaise with senior medical officials, government officials, dignitaries, executives of NGOs, FBOs, CBOs, the for-profit business community, and senior members of the donor community.

3. What is your current role within TB HIV Care, and what is your core responsibility?

• My current role is the PPPrev Programme Director, and my core responsibility is twofold: Ensure effective implementation, coordination, and maintenance of structural community-based programmes focusing on adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), MSP and parents and guardians, and ensure full integration between structural programmes, psychosocial, and biomedical and intensified economic strengthening activities.

4. If you look back on your career, is there anything you wish you had done differently?

• Not that I can think of. I’ve loved my journey.

5. What have you enjoyed most about this profession?

• I have most enjoyed reaching out to the most vulnerable communities and giving them hope, for example, prescribing ARVs for HIV positive patients and seeing life-changing journeys.

6. What has been the most challenging part of your career to date?

• The most challenging part of my career was watching HIV positive patients die without having ARVs to save their lives.

7. What do you still want to achieve in your career?

• I want to be part of leadership in the prevention space that will contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), end poverty, protect the environment, reduce economic inequality, and ensure peace and justice for all.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring nurses who want to reach a managerial position?

• Take every opportunity given to you with both hands and do it even if it means finding out how to do it, as that is how you learn and grow.

9. Are there any qualities or skills that you learnt as a nurse that have served you well in a managerial position?

• A nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.

10. The theme for International Nurses Day (IND) 2022 is – Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health, focusing on the need to protect, support and invest in the nursing profession to strengthen health systems around the world. Applied in a South African context, are we investing enough in the nursing profession?

• Nurses benefit the communities they serve, and we should recognise their true value. An example of this was how nurses risked their health to care for patients and kept our communities safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.