Health Workers Featured at IntraHealth’s Switchpoint Conference!


On April 27th and 28th, the Switchpoint Conference took place in Saxapahaw, North Carolina. The conference, a production by our partner IntraHealth, showcased topics dealing with humanitarian innovation, global health and technology. Focusing on building interconnectivity amongst its participants, the conference had interactive networking sessions, microlabs, and presentations on various topics. A special session featured community health workers from around the world and let them voice their stories and experiences.


The following “Testimonies from the Front Lines”, shed light on the experiences of two of the health workers in attendance.


Vânia Soares de Oliveira e Almeida Pinto


Vânia Soares de Oliveira e Almeida Pinto graduated from the Faculdade de Medicina de São José do Rio Preto in 2001 where she specialized in family and community medicine. Vânia taught medical courses at the Universidade de Ribeirão Preto, at the Centro Universitário Barão de Mauá, and at the Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto-USP. Currently, she is a professor at the Mucuri Valley, in Teófilo Otoni Minas Gerais, Brazil. She is a tutor for the program More Doctors for Brazil and will finish her master’s degree this year. In collaboration with the Medtronic Foundation and other partners, Vânia is coordinating a project for Healthrise Brazil. This project taps into Vânia’s passion for primary health care and family health, specifically public health policies for under-served communities.



Sanele Madela

Expectra 868 Health Solutions

Dr. Sanele Listen Mandlenkosi Madela was born in the dusty streets of Dundee Sibongile Township and now holds a medical degree from Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medical de Villa Clara (Cuba) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Sanele is the MD/founder of Expectra 868 Health Solutions, a non-government organization (NGO) in South Africa focused on community health work. Expectra 868 aims to address the health disparities faced by the community of Umzinyathi District Municipality, where 80% of the population lives in rural areas. Sanele was awarded the 2013 MEC Annual Excellence Award for his contribution to the community-based medical education and advocacy of primary health care.


Learn more about Switchpoint here:




Contributors: Hamida Mohammad, Alex Kellerstrass & IntraHealth Staff