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..
Map for Chapter W: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the locations of places mentioned in the text.
Map for Chapter W: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows western Kenya and the places important to Were.
Map for Chapter W: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows locations in central Africa united by the spread of HIV.
This aerial view shows what William Penn College (now William Penn University) looked like in the late 1950s. It's what the campus would have looked like when Were was a student there. Penn Hall and the chapel are clearly visible. The Women's Dormitory is behind the chpael to the right of Penn Hall. Image on display at William Penn University, in June 2017. Photograph by the author.
This view shows the lawn and one half of the imposing facade of Penn Hall, William Penn University's main administration and classroom building. I tried to imagine Were walking towards it in the fall of 1961. Photograph by the author, June 2017.
This detail of Penn Hall's main entrance showcases some of the elements of Prairie Style architecture. This movement drew upon the arts and crafts tradition and sought to marry that tradition with an appreciation for the natural environment. Photograph by the author, June 2017.