To run smoothly, health centres need well-trained health care workers. This is where George Sankhulani comes in. As a district program coordinator, he mentors and supports health care workers at more than 40 health facilities.
“Mentoring is a practical way of building someone’s capacity,” says George.
George is responsible for mentoring health care workers in providing HIV testing and counselling, starting patients on treatment and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The aim is to empower health care workers to be skilled and confident in delivering quality care.
George was completing an internship at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi’s capital when the AIDS epidemic peaked in 2003. The experience left an indelible mark on his heart. “Each day, nearly half the patients admitted to a hospital ward would die. Death was everywhere.”
After his internship, George specialized in HIV services and moved to Zomba in 2007 to work with Dignitas. He remembers a time when people walked up to 35 kilometres for a simple medical check-up.
“With Dignitas’s help, we shifted HIV services from the central hospital to rural health centres across Zomba District. Back then, we were among only a few districts doing that,” he says. Thanks to support from the United States Agency for International Development, Dignitas has since expanded HIV-related services to 158 sites across Malawi’s southeast region.