In a small village of Bukulu in Kondoa district, Abuu Salim Chapakasi (52) works hard to save the lives of people in his community. His story is traced back in 1994 when UNICEF had a plan of training Community Health Workers who were appointed by community members as their representatives. He received a six months training on TB at Munguri Community Development Collage in Kondoa Town Council.
After an intensive training he was appointed by the district council to work under Global Fund support. In 2021, he began working with Amref as a CHW and Motorcyclist for sputum sample transportation for TB diagnosis. “As a motorcyclist, I carry sputum samples for TB diagnosis from four satellite facilities namely; Kikiro Dispensary, Masawi Dispensary, Bukulu Dispensary and Salanka Dispensary to Bereko Health Center where the GeneXpert machine is allocated, also return results to the satellite health facilities” he explains.
Among other success stories, Abuu managed to save his mother’s life who had the symptoms of asthma but lost his two neighbors from TB. He tells us “I referred her to a health facility for further investigations whereby chest X-ray was done and was TB suggestive. She was initiated anti-TB and currently she is healed completely. In the process of my mother’s illness, two neighbors died due to TB Pericarditis and TB Pleuritis”.
Even though Abuu shares his serious concerns on the fuel prices, inadequate sputum containers and shortage of enough CHWs to serve the community, he also has a lot of positive things to share. He managed to facilitate notification of more than 80 TB cases and as a Motorcyclist he built a strong network between community members and Council authority. With a smile on his charming face he says “I have gained community trust, respect and recognition”. “We are grateful for what Amref does to our community especially bringing free TB services to those who are in need but couldn’t afford even the fare to reach to the health centers”, he concludes.