At the Mpunde Health Center with Zubeidah
There is no Mpunde Health Center without Zubeidah
Natusasira Zubeidah is at the heart of ETH. She currently serves as the nurse at the Mpunde Health Center. She is the main provider of care to the people of Mpunde and the surrounding Buyende District. This is a heavy burden for one person, but Zubeidah carries it out with an enthusiastic attitude and a smile on her face.
You may have already seen her treating patients and providing care on our social media over the past couple of months. Zubeidah’s work in Mpunde is absolutely essential to the operations of ETH and our mission to bring quality care at an affordable price to the people of Uganda, starting in the village of Mpunde.
Below is a lightly edited version of ETH team member Ritah’s interview with Zubeidah. Check it out to learn more about life on the ground in Mpunde and how ETH is transforming lives in the region.
An interview with Zubeidah
Ritah: I am excited to interview you. You are working at the heart of ETH! Please introduce yourself. Nurse Zubeidah: My name is Natusasira Zubaida. I am a Nursing Officer working with ETH-Uganda as a Nurse at MHC. I have a certificate in Nursing from Mayanja Memorial Medical Training Institute, Mbarara and a Diploma in Nursing from Kampala International University, Bushenyi.
R: What motivated you to take this job, in a hard to reach area? Z: I took this job in a hard to reach area because I wanted a stable income. I wanted a job that would pay well and on time. I am also a very hard working woman and I am not afraid to work anywhere as long as I am saving lives. The distance doesn’t scare me, am working among humans and am safe. I have learnt to adapt to new places and it suites my adventurous spirit. (Laughs)
R: How long have you worked at MHC? Z: I have worked here since the HC opened, which is [a bit over 2 months].
R: Wow. How many patients have you treated so far since the HC opened? Z: I have treated 442 patients so far. These include children and adults, from Mpunde and surrounding areas.
R: 442? That is a big number for one health worker. What are the biggest health problems in this community? Z: Malaria is a big problem, adults and children alike. There are many dental problems as well. The long distances to the health centers also make access to healthcare a nightmare. In fact, MHC is an answer to many prayers. I don’t want to imagine what would have happened to some severe cases if this HC was not operating. I am glad I am here to help save lives. There is need for an Ultra Sound Scan (especially when we start the maternity section) and a Glucometer machine (for testing and management of Diabetes).
R: Nurse Zubaida, what do you like about the community where you are now stationed? Z: This community has very friendly people. They bring me mangoes and sweet bananas. (Laughs) They are hospitable and understanding. They listen to advice and follow medical instructions.
R: What do you find challenging then? Z: What I find most challenging is the gap in maternal health. Many expectant mothers have to walk long distances for prenatal care and delivery. It’s so hard to have a baby in this place. I am proud of the women who risk their lives to give life. The other challenge is that some patients come to the HC when their condition is severe. Someone will have malaria and visit a drug shop where they just order what they want and by the time they come to the HC, the condition is complicated and they require intravenous treatment [even though] they can’t afford it. Thankfully, I have been able to handle all cases and have not referred any for further management.
R: That leads me to ask, how do you feel about your profession? Z: I love my profession. I love seeing people leave the HC feeling better when they came in at their worst. It’s fulfilling to see them healed. And knowing that I was part of that makes it worth it, no matter where my job takes me.
R: What else would you like us to know about your experience in Mpunde? Z: I am loving it here. I am making new friends. I work with an organization that is committed to improving healthcare in a poor population. The treatment is affordable and the drug supply chain constant. I have not sent a patient away because there were no drugs to treat their condition. MHC is saving lives, and there is more to do. I hope that soon we can start [providing] maternity care and help deliver babies.
(Laughs) Hopefully, we can also start immunization. Compared to the city where I worked before, MHC is small. But we are doing big things here, we are bringing hope to many by easing access to healthcare.
You can help Zubeidah continue saving lives
You can help support Zubeidah’s work to bring quality affordable healthcare to Mpunde and the Buyende District by contributing to our current fundraising campaign to support the Mpunde Health Center.
None of this is possible without your support. A donation of any amount will go a long way towards empowering the people of Uganda to live good health and dignity. ETH thanks you for your help on our mission to make a small corner of a world healthier, better place.