March 2019

{Nurse Gabriella Oroma welcomes patients at Ngetta Health Centre in Uganda, where drug-resistant TB is treated. Photo credit: Sarah Lagot/MSH}Nurse Gabriella Oroma welcomes patients at Ngetta Health Centre in Uganda, where drug-resistant TB is treated. Photo credit: Sarah Lagot/MSH
This op-ed was originally published in The Hill.
 
When I was a young doctor in Turkey, I quickly learned to take a bird’s eye view of health care. I started working in a village in Mardin Province, visiting households with my first mentor, a midwife. Once in a home, we would do the job we came for, perhaps vaccinating the baby. However, it only made sense to use our time to see other people in the household as well. How was the pregnant sister doing? What about the uncle with tuberculosis (TB) — was he taking his medicines as prescribed? Did the family have clean drinking water and a sanitary latrine?

Later, two colleagues and I oversaw 52 health centers in the province.