Health Worker Spotlight: Stella Nyarko, HealthKeepers Network

Photo of Stella
Stella Nyarko introducing health products to her clients

Stella Nyarko became a HealthKeeper through a women’s association. She now provides communities with family planning information and health protection products. She remembers, “When I was a child I wanted to become a nurse, but during my school days I could not get financial help and could not achieve my dream of becoming a nurse. Becoming a HealthKeeper has made me fulfill my dream, and I really love to share ideas on family planning issues.”

Nyarko expressed, “Since I became a healthkeeper I have been able to interact with people I never had the opportunity to talk to. I have established a good relationship with many people.”

She further stated that, “I have really learned a lot as a Health Keeper- it has taught me how to deal with different people. When the young men in my area come to me to buy condoms and I have another client with me, they have a special sign they show and I understand them.”

Nyarko explains that revealing clients’ information to third parties would jeopardize her work and she would never take the risk. “If you share any secret of your client to a third party, that third party might also let it out to another person, and by the time you realize, you have put your client into shame as well as your business.”

She acknowledges that male involvement in family planning has not been prevalent. According to her, male involvement would help limit unplanned pregnancies and improve maternal health care.

Apart from her work as a HealthKeeper, Nyarko is also a versatile petty trader who deals mangoes during the mango season. She has a small kiosk where she sells different types of food when the mango season is over.

With additional funding provided by a grant awarded under Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), (HealthKeepers Network) HKN plans to expand their community-based family planning (CBFP) project. The CBFP project aims to reduce the gap between the demand and the supply of HIV prevention and family planning (FP) products. The program provides access to affordable contraception, including condoms and oral contraceptives, as well as other products and services.