Elizabeth Machila is a nurse based in Lusaka, Zambia where she has been involved in Beat RHD Zambia initiative as a coordinator, mentor and volunteer health worker. She is also the study nurse for the Zambian site in the multi-centre Invictus project.
Although Elizabeth’s hometown of Kasama is in the Northern Province, she studied to be a nurse and midwife in Lusaka and Ndola respectively. She has been involved in RHD work for about five years – in Lusaka where she enjoys working with RHD-affected patients, encouraging them to stay in care to maintain good health and quality of life. Elizabeth writes that her heart goes out to those patients needing valve repair or replacement who have been put on surgical waiting lists. In Zambia, that wait can be long for too many patients.
Elizabeth also enjoys participating in outreach work in communities, encouraging parents to seek medical treatment for children who have a sore throat. She says she feels it is her job to let her community know that RHD can be prevented! It’s this passion for RHD that has taken her across the globe. In 2017, she was selected for the Intrahealth Frontline Health Workers Storytelling Training program where she travelled to the US to train with other health workers from around the world. Her YouTube video, “Testimony from the Front Line”, can be found here. Elizabeth has also travelled as a health worker advocate to the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva where the RHD resolution was passed in 2018. Most recently, she travelled to Cape Town, South Africa to participate in a global RHD Think Tank at the Inaugural PROTEA Conference and Workshop.
Elizabeth’s contribution to our Community Advisory Network is valued for her passion, long experience and expertise caring for RHD patients in low-resource settings.