Kamate Muhindo is head nurse at the Majengo Marie Health Center in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Throughout his 20-year career, Kamate has worked in locations across the country and now manages a team of 15. He says he was inspired to get into nursing after he got sick and almost died when he was a young man.
“I fell very ill, and when I saw how the doctors saved me... I made the decision that if I was cured, I would do medicine to help others,” he says.
Kamate’s work is demanding. The Majengo Marie Health Center serves a population of approximately 40,000 people. Every day the team treats patients with HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. They have also been on the front line fighting other disease outbreaks as well the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investing in health workers like Kamate is a critical component of the Global Fund’s work to build resilient and sustainable systems for health. In DRC, this work includes training and supporting health workers, strengthening health information systems, building strong supply chains and procurement processes, and strengthening community-based health networks.
In 2021, the country strengthened its disease surveillance system with 2,800 health centers equipped with tablets for online disease outbreak reporting, including for COVID-19 cases. Over 800 health workers were trained in strengthening the quality of front-line health care services.
Throughout his career, Kamate has felt the impact that fragile health systems have had on his community, colleagues and family – his older sister died of AIDS in 2005 because she did not have access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs. He says that continued investments in the local health system are important to protect him and his colleagues and ensure they can provide their community with lifesaving health care.