Anna, a Nurse in Eastern Uganda

Anna, a Nurse in Eastern Uganda

Anna outside Kaginima Hospital, eastern Uganda. {Photo credit: M. Hartley/MSH.}Photo credit: M. Hartley/MSH.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was 10. A woman used to come home to my village in her nurse uniform on the weekends and she was so smart and nice. It was my goal,” said Anna.

Anna finished nursing school and her formal training in 1998 and started working in 1999. In 2000, she began working at Kaginima Hospital in eastern Uganda, where she still works today.

Kaginima Hospital is an expanding facility and uniquely has a lot of space for patients and services. The facility has a surgical theater with two beds and is well stocked with medical supplies. As a private, nonprofit hospital, Kaginima does not receive any support from the Ugandan government. The hospital relies on support from USAID, international organizations, faith-based organizations, and local nongovernmental organizations. They also charge nominal fees for the services directly to patients.

Strengthening TB and AIDS Response – Eastern Region (STAR-E), a USAID project led by Management Sciences for Health, helps support Kaginima by providing supplies, offering performance-based grants to a local nongovernmental organization that supports the facility, and training staff on providing HIV services --- including Anna.

“They are a great help --- they trained us on how to outreach to the community, helped us establish an early infant diagnosis care point --- which we didn’t have before --- and they taught us how to test and counsel women on HIV and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.”

The closest antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinic is walking distance away now, but Anna hopes that soon Kaginima will have an accredited ART clinic. STAR-E is working with them to prepare for this opportunity.

As we were walking around the facility, the patients were happy to see Anna and listen to her advice. Anna is passionate for helping others, determined to educate her community and to help keep them healthy.


STAR-E expands HIV & AIDS prevention, care and treatment activities in Eastern Uganda through a family-centered approach which involves the facility, the community and the family in delivering care and treatment services to AIDS patients, while implementing a vigorous behavior-change campaign to intensify the prevention of new infections.

Margaret Hartley, knowledge exchange associate at MSH, was awarded the Gadue-Niebling-Urdaneta (GNU) Memorial Fellowship. She traveled to Uganda for four weeks, visiting local health centers and NGOs to meet with organizations MSH serves.

Editor’s note: MSH established the Gadue-Niebling-Urdaneta (GNU) Memorial Fund in memory of Cristi Gadue, Amy Lynn Niebling, and Carmen Urdaneta, to further the work to which these remarkable women dedicated their lives. Each year, the GNU Fellowship provides two MSH employees based in the US and globally with an international public health opportunity at another MSH location.