Stronger Together: Network Celebrates Third Anniversary with Videos from PEN-Plus Heroes

Moses Echodu
Moses Echodu, a Voices for Pen-Plus Advocate, contributed a video from Kampala, UGANDA. a FORMER Voices of NCDI Poverty Advocacy Fellow and a childhood cancer survivor, he serves as program director of the Uganda Child Cancer Foundation.

“Hi, all!” Edith Mukantwari says as she beams into the camera. “We are stronger together. Let’s do this!”

And with that greeting, Mukantwari, a Voices for PEN-Plus advocate from Uganda, opens a series of video messages commemorating the NCDI Poverty Network’s third anniversary.

In those videos, Network members offer their takes on a “stronger together” theme in languages ranging from Swahili to Portuguese and from Hindi to Chichewa. Their videos represent eight countries—Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—that implement PEN-Plus, an integrated care-delivery model for people living with severe, chronic, noncommunicable diseases in settings of extreme poverty.

In his video message, Dr. Gene Bukhman, the Network’s Boston-based co-chair, expresses his gratitude for all who contribute to the Network’s success.

“This December marks the three-year anniversary of the NCDI Poverty Network,” he says. “In that short period of time, what started with the Lancet Commission has grown into a 22-country movement to bridge the gap in health coverage for the world’s most vulnerable. As co-chair of the Network, I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with you all. Thank you for your commitment and your friendship.”

Dr. Ana Mocumbi, the Network’s Maputo-based co-chair, concludes the video with an echo of Dr. Bukhman’s gratitude.

“As a global movement, we are not done yet,” she says. “In fact, we are just getting started. We are looking forward to many years of growth and positive outcomes for the communities we serve. We strongly believe that it is possible and that together, we are stronger. Thank you so much.”