AU Grad Putting Skills to Work in South Africa

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.
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Across sub-Saharan Africa, graduates of Africa University are on the frontlines of the fight to stem the spread of COVID-19 and help communities cope with its impact on daily life.

Your support of the Africa University Fund apportionment supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure.

Celeste Madondo, a public health specialist and 2010 graduate of Africa University, works primarily on HIV prevention and intervention strategies to deal with infectious diseases. She holds a Bachelor of Health Services Management from AU and a master's degree in Public Health from the University of Witswatersrand. Madondo specializes in Health Systems and Policy and is based at a non-governmental organization in Johannesburg.

South Africa is still observing stringent social distancing and other COVID-19 infection prevention protocols, so Madondo and her colleagues are adapting their outreach to clients. Those who need to can order test kits online, access support and counseling virtually, know their HIV status, and take the appropriate actions to protect their health and that of others.

For Madondo, protecting the country's gains against HIV/AIDS is important. However, the expertise and networks developed in HIV-related work are proving valuable to the ongoing COVID-19 response, including national screening, door-to-door contact tracing and the necessary testing in South Africa.

Madondo highlights the diversity of South African communities—from province to province and from well-planned suburbs to informal settlements—as a challenge.

"It is complex...most of the mapping strategies developed at the provincial level are very context specific, very relevant, and they ensure that we reach the people that need to be reached," said Madondo.

Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.