1. Ahmed, Mahamud MS

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My Experience as a Community Health Worker

I worked as a community health worker (CHW) and interpreter in the 1990s in refugee camps in Eastern Ethiopia. To me, working as a CHW was a rewarding experience. It gave me the opportunity to participate and contribute toward solving, or at least mitigating, the often-enormous challenges that the community was facing at the time. Community health workers occupy a unique position especially in settings where clinical health professionals are either not available or hard to access. In those circumstances, CHWs are the only ones who provide health education and prevention services. During my time as a CHW, I vividly remember the delight and enthusiasm in the faces of clients we served as we explained different program objectives in their own language, be it vaccination campaigns, health education, or needs assessment surveys. In my opinion, CHW should serve not only as a conduit between clinical health professionals and the community but also as community advocates. By virtue of their positions and deep understanding of the challenges and needs of the community, they can greatly contribute to solving community problems. Professionalizing CHWs through training and certification can greatly help CHWs reach their full potential. Certainly, my work as a CHW was what first instilled in me my interest in public health and I am currently a student at University of Texas at El Paso, seeking a PhD degree in interdisciplinary health sciences, and definitely plan to continue to work on the problems and challenges of those who are underserved.


-Mahamud Ahmed, MS


Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Doctoral Program


University of Texas at El Paso