Soft-spoken and gentle in her ways, 52-year-old Sarah Nakaggwa from Uganda’s Buikwe district had a childhood dream of becoming a nurse. Unfortunately, she dropped out of high school when she lost her father, who was paying her school fees.
She got married and had six children, three of whom are now nurses. Sarah was happy to live her dreams vicariously through her children, until an unbelievable opportunity came her way in 2017. She was recommended by her community to Living Goods to be a CHW—because of her compassionate heart.
“I was so happy when I was chosen to undergo the training. Though I was not going to be a nurse with a cap, I was finally going to be a health worker! My main motivation is to save lives, especially children’s. I was also excited to be trained in family planning because I believe if I had enough knowledge myself, I would have had fewer children,” Sarah explains, adding that she has also gotten financial benefits from this role and is now seen as a helpful person in her community.
Before the COVID, Sarah used to conduct door-to-door visits to deliver health services to children and women in her community. Now, most parents bring their children to her home for treatment, especially because they know that she is always stocked with essential medicine for children from Living Goods. “It is easier to follow the COVID protocols this way. But, I take the initiative to make follow-up calls and visits to those who can’t come to my home, since I have PPE such as gloves, masks and sanitizer from Living Goods.”
Sarah is an advocate for women’s health and has been providing antenatal and postnatal care, plus family planning counseling and methods during this difficult time. “I thank Living Goods for ensuring that we can still offer affordable FP options during the pandemic, because the demand is still there,” she says.