Adrian Banda: Village Doctor

Adrian Banda carries the weight of his world on his shoulders. He is a slender man with chiseled high cheek bones and solemn eyes. Quiet and contemplative from afar, Adrian transforms when he speaks. Both fast and determined, a current of words cascade out of his mouth in his local dialect, Chichewa, and broken English. Adrian is a man who wears many hats. He is a farmer, a husband, a father of five and a guardian to another dependent who lives in his home. Adrian also serves his community as a volunteer community health worker. With a health system choked by a shortage of doctors and other health workers, volunteers like Adrian are essential in their communities.

Video Transcript 
My name is Adrian Banda. I’m a community health worker. I live in Kalinde village in chieftainess Kawaza of Katete district in Zambia. I’m the village headman, community health worker and child growth monitoring promoter. My parents died within a few years of each other. [It] motivated me to get trained as a community health worker so that I can help my family and community. I have transport problem visiting far off villages—I walk about 90 minutes. At times I manage to borrow bicycles. As a community health worker I’m open to welcome and help people anytime day and night. When I reach a home, I greet the people and ask about their health. If they have sign of malaria, I can do EDT to confirm malaria. If we have a community without malaria, people will be more productive, thus more development. For the children, they will be active and playing, attend school regularly and progress in school. In past years I would conduct about 30 malaria test and about 27 would be positive for malaria. These days it’s the opposite, out of 10 test you will find one or none positive for malaria. What makes me happy is the respect and praise I receive in the community. People call me doctor. So I feel happy and satisfied with my work. This is more than material gifts which I receive not often. This is Betty Banda, she is 3 years old and is my 5th child. The only daughter. I want her to grow up healthy, go to school and become a doctor. Not a village doctor like me, but a real doctor. The most important thing we can do is educate people about health. If we did that, we will be able to end malaria.

Last updated: October 20, 2017

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