Agnes Nambozo, a nurse at Buluganya Health Centre III in Uganda, has been named ‘Nurse of the Year’ by the country’s health minister after she made a treacherous climb to vaccinate children in a remote village.
Nambozo’s dedication to her profession and commitment to ensuring that even the most hard-to-reach children receive critical medical attention has earned her recognition from colleagues and health professionals worldwide.
Nambozo’s journey to the Masheluse village in Nataba parish, Uganda, involved climbing a dangerous ladder with a box of supplies on her back. Despite the risks, Nambozo felt that it was her duty to reach the children who had not received the essential vaccinations that could protect them from potentially life-threatening diseases. Uganda’s Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, shared a video of Nambozo’s journey on Twitter and called her a “dedicated and committed enrolled Nurse.”
While Nambozo’s efforts have been praised, some have expressed concern over the lengths that nurses and other medical professionals must go to in order to reach patients in remote areas. Others have called for action to be taken to eliminate such risks and provide equal access to healthcare services for all Ugandans.
Uganda’s National Development Plan prioritizes healthcare and addresses inadequate medical infrastructure to reduce mortality rates and improve access to healthcare services. The country has made significant strides in reducing child mortality rates, with UNICEF reporting a decrease from 191 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1970 to 45.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019.
In some areas of the country, medical delivery drones are being tested to provide essential medicines for conditions like HIV. These drones can travel quickly and safely over long distances, delivering life-saving medication to remote communities that might otherwise be difficult to reach.