In this series, we’re profiling real-life superheroes who are fighting to end preventable diseases. Each one has an alter-ego from our quiz, “Which Lifesaving Superhero Are You?” Take the quiz to find out which hero you are.
Meet Nthabeleng Nts’ekalle, AKA Doctor Able! With unstoppable waves of empowerment, she champions women’s issues and uses knowledge to fight disease.
The world has come a long way in the fight against HIV, but young women and girls are still left behind far too often. Gender-based discrimination can lead to issues such as lack of education and limited autonomy, making girls and women especially vulnerable to infection. In sub-Saharan Africa, twice as many girls and young women are infected with HIV as men.
That’s why HER Voice, a fund focused on girls and young women, focuses on the challenges that specifically affect them.
Nthabeleng Nts’ekalle is a HER Voice ambassador. She advocates for girls and women through her work at the Lesotho Network of AIDS Service Organizations (LENASO). This nonprofit works at the grassroots level to connect people with the care and treatment they need, especially in hard-to-reach places. Nthabeleng, like other HER Voice ambassadors, tackles specific issues in communities to empower girls and provide resources.
“My country is mountainous – often called the kingdom in the sky. It’s a rough terrain. Sometimes we must ride horses for two days to reach people most in need, where the girls have very limited information about HIV and how to protect themselves from the disease.”
Nthabeleng is especially concerned with making sure that communities have the information they need on how to prevent disease. Having the tools and prevention methods isn’t enough if people are unaware of how or why to use them.
“Providing information on contraceptives and prevention tools as well as making sure that these tools are available in places where these girls can access them are issues that are very dear to me … We should have information and education all ‘round – to the girls, to the leaders, to the parents.”
Are you super inspired by this hero? Click here to learn about four other awe-inspiring people who are fighting against preventable disease.