Overview of Chapter W: Since the mid-1970s, Kenya’s tireless public health advocate and ambassador has fought to ensure that all individuals, regardless of wealth, education, ethnicity, or belief, receive the care they need. In the 1970s, she pioneered a community-based health care system using locally trained volunteers, and as chair of Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council in the early 2000s, she led a public awareness campaign that dramatically reduced the rate of new infections. The chapter shows how the values of her Quaker upbringing helped Were to become the advocate she is. The chapter also addresses African independence movements and decolonization, the Mau Mau Rebellion, development programs, post-imperialism, and the Daniel Moi era.
1. What makes public health campaigns successful? Why do some public health campaigns fail?
2. Why does male circumcision remain controversial in some communities? What should happen when government policy conflicts with local tradition or individual preferences?
3. Why is Were convinced that effective health care in Africa must begin at the community level?
1. Create a public health poster for COVID-19 that embraces Quaker values.
2. Attend a Quaker meeting and write a reflection about your experience.
3. Research and evaluate public health issues in Africa today, including AIDS, COVID-19, Ebola, infant mortality, malaria, and sanitation.
4. Interview someone who lived in the 1980s and 1990s about the AIDS crisis. What do they remember?
• This article evaluates male circumcision practices in Kenya, finding that there have been problems in implementation of circumcision programs. Adam Gilbertson et al, "Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention Among Adolescents in Kenya: Unintended Consequences of Pursuing Service-Delivery Targets," PLOS, November 4, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224548
• This article shows that there is considerable local variation in the effectiveness of male circumcision programs to help prevent HIV spread in Sub-Saharan Africa. M.A. Cork, et al, “Mapping Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention Efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa,” BMC Med 18, 189 (2020), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01635-5
This 2013 address showcases Were's health care philosophy.
This extended interview helps document the divided opinions about circumcision in Africa as a strategy to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS..