─ First in his family to sit CSEC
Twenty-Four-year-old, Akeem Henry is currently employed at the Baramita Health post as a Community Health Worker (CHW) and has been there for the last six years. Henry lends crucial support to the Medical Extension Officer (Medex) in charge of the facility and another CHW who also operates as a Microscopist.
While he diligently serves the members of his community, Henry harbours dreams and aspirations of becoming a senior healthcare professional. “In my family, I am the first for many things. I am the first to write CXC and the first to be a health professional and I will be the first to be a doctor,” he confidently said.
To get where he is today, Henry had to overcome the major hurdle of being a school dropout. However, at the age of 18, the opportunity presented itself when he was accepted into and benefitted from a training course for CHWs.
The programme Henry benefitted from is facilitated by the Public Health Ministry and waives some of the requirements for persons in hinterland communities to be accepted for CHW training.
Two years ago, whilst thinking strategically about achieving his goal of becoming a doctor, Henry realised he needed to attain grades at the Caribbean Secondary Schools Examination (CSEC) to begin that journey. Therefore, in May of this year, he wrote and passed five subjects at CSEC.
“I wanted to elevate myself, I wanted to be something, be somebody like a Medex or a doctor because I would like to come back and serve the people of Barimita… I realise that Baramita needs more people like me. I am committed to working in the health sector because even as a young boy, I always wanted to be a health professional.”
For the future, Henry plans to access advanced level training through the Ministry of Public Health, meanwhile, he will continue to serve his community and serve as a role model for the younger members of Baramita.