Public health is a field comprised of various professions. We were fortunate to hear from not only doctors and nurses but also a public health social worker, economist/policy maker and communication specialist.
Elizabeth is a social worker at the Topsy Foundation, an HIV/AIDS clinic in South Africa. She is responsible for making sure that the organization treats the whole patient. For example, she trains the 22 community workers on how to engage patients during home visits. The workers are then able to assess the patients’ social needs that affect their health situation. Additionally, there are several empowerment programs that provide patients with skills training so that they can earn income. Two such initiatives are the Shukushukuma Beadwork Projet and the Tinyiko Sewing Project. Women in these groups learn to make products, such as stuffed animals, blankets and jewelry, that they sell for profit. They are in turn able to provide for their families. Elizabeth explained that these programs address the families’ lack of basic necessities, freeing them to consider treatment for and prevention against HIV/AIDS.
To view or purchase items from the women entrepreneurs of the Topsy Foundation, email firstname.lastname@example.org