Voices Inspiring Change: the pioneer Josephine Angula
Voices Inspiring Change, an initiative of the African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions (ACS) project, amplifies the voices, needs and perspectives of diverse and underrepresented members of society in sub-Saharan Africa through contextualized storytelling. It aims to fill a persistent gap by engaging and highlighting voices outside the typical stakeholder groups like policy makers, donors, partners, and technical advisers. It seeks to amplify the stories and knowledge of the full range of stakeholders who have a stake in how the universal health coverage (UHC) agenda is shaped and carried forward in their
Voices Inspiring Change calls attention to the responsibility of decision-makers to listen to and include critical voices in policy discussions that support their country’s movement towards UHC. Policies are more equitable, responsive, and effective when they are inclusive of the voices they are intended to benefit.
Josephine Angula is short, with short hair, a crisp nurse uniform, and a round, friendly face, with freckles on her nose. She meets us in the lobby of Betesda Medical Centre, shakes hands firmly, and ushers us through the clinic, which, at 8:30 a.m., is already humming with patients.
Josephine is the owner and head nurse at Betesda Medical Centre. A trailblazer, her clinic was the first private medical center to be owned and run by a black nurse in Namibia.
“Unfortunately, I was the first one,” she says with a wry smile.
Josephine trained at Oshakati State Hospital in the north, received a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, helped to open a nursing division of the University of Namibia’s Onandjokwe campus, and worked in Windhoek at the private MediClinic, before getting the idea of starting her own private practice.
“I never knew that a nurse could operate on a private basis. I thought only doctors could operate as private medical practitioners. While I was at MediClinic, I came into contact with the Association of Private Nurses. I approached them and asked them to describe the type of degree I would need, and I started to think about the lack of health services among my community here in Katutura.”