Nursing is my calling; not a job: A tale of an HRH nurse

Written By: 
Tariro Mhute

“I have always wanted to be a nurse; I drew inspiration from my grandmother who was a nurse for several years. Nursing is my calling and not just a job. I graduated (as a registered general nurse) in December 2015. I joined Organization for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID) in 2018 as a Human Resource for Health (HRH) nurse and my dreams were coming into fruition.”

Meet Moreblessing Chikwanda (29) an HRH nurse at Seke South (clinic), Chitungwiza. Situated in the South-Eastern part of the Harare, Seke South is high volume clinic catering for over 6 1000 people. Moreblessing  worked  in the OI/ART Clinic and is one of the many nurses who dedicated their lives to helping people living with HIV (PLHIV), under the Families and Communities for the Elimination of HIV (FACE HIV) program which was being implemented by OPHID with the support from PEPFAR through USAID Zimbabwe. For five years OPHID collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) to provide quality HIV, PMTCT of HIV, TB care and treatment services in 24 districts across 5 provinces of Zimbabwe.

“My major roles in the OI/ART Clinic include health education, VIAC screening, Viral Load Screening and referring clients for resupply of ART medicines. What inspires me every day is knowing I am playing my role towards HIV epidemic control in Zimbabwe. Each day brings its own challenges but, I look forward to helping clients. On a normal day I attend 60-80 patients. For me is it’s so fulfilling knowing that we can offer these services under one roof and link patients to care creating a one stop shop,” said Moreblessing

Under the FACE-HIV Program nurses like Moreblessing dedicated their lives and braved even the COVID-19 pandemic strengthening the provision of quality HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in Zimbabwe. Since 2015, under the FACE-HIV program 220 041 clients have been enrolled on ART, 83 000 women have been screened for cervical cancer, and 523 000 PLHIV have been maintained on the program through the benevolence of the American people.