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Interview 2018 J&J OYW Scholar George: When Work becomes Passion – A midwifes’ story in Malawi

George Nkhoma is a registered Nurse Midwife in Malawi. Recently, he has been promoted in a management and service delivery role in a district that covers eleven health centers supporting more than a hundred nurses and midwives. His work is his passion. He was a speaker at the 2016 United Nations Assembly and other international events.

 

Just to begin – Did you always wanted to be a midwife?

George: Yes and no. Originally, I wanted to start a career as an engineer and never thought of becoming a midwife. I grew up with relatives and only found out when I was a bit older that my mother died when giving birth to me. Since that day I changed my mind completely and it was clear to me: I wanted to be a midwife! Helping women as best I can during the process of giving birth to another human being. Children are born every day however for me it remains one of lives miracles. My aim is to provide the safest environment for the women, and of course the new born babies.

You have been working with Radhika Batra, also a 2018 OYW Scholar from India. Please explain how and why did you start working together?

George: Indeed, we are J&J OYW Ambassadors. We met at the OYW Summit, talked about our projects and decided that there is a great opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. And so, our idea came to life – which was, to partner with the Malawi Ministry of Health in a campaign distributing Vitamin A and other relevant pre-natal vitamins to pregnant women. After a phase of sharing information, discussing different models between Radhika and myself, we are now finally very proud working together in partnership with the Association of Malawian Midwives for the distribution of vitamins, which is scheduled to start in the July/August timeframe.

This year`s summit OYW overarching theme is “diversity” – what does it mean for your context and work environment?

George: For me this means always evaluating different options. There are in most cases different ways to come to a successful solution.

This year’s J&J OYW Program theme is “Resiliency For Change” how would you interpret this?

George: One always must adapt well to different situations: expected and unexpected ones, especially in the context that I am working in. Change is always an opportunity to grow and learn and resilient people are in most cases not immune to change but less disrupted by it. This is essential in healthcare.