Belarmina Novele is Mozambique’s Star of the Month in March. Belarmina is a nurse with training in Maternal and Child Health at the Institute of Health Science of Massinga. She joined the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM) in 2019 working in PRECISE study at Xinavane Rural Hospital (XRH). Her activities include obtaining informed consent, recruitment and follow-up of pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) visits and assistance of women at delivery and immediate post-partum in the maternity unity.

Belarmina is a young nurse, originally from Inhambane province, who migrated from Massinga district to join CISM in Manhiça district to establish herself as a health professional and an independent woman. However, living away from the family has not been easy:

“…Working away from my family is not easy, I miss my family especially my mother who is my confidant and my siblings who are my great friends. But I have learned to overcome this challenge and I have found a second family in PRECISE team. In addition, with the COVID-19 pandemic it is no longer safe to travel by bus as I used to do. So instead of visiting my family every two weeks, now I travel once a month…”

We asked Belarmina, if she was professionally fulfilled and if she felt that in PRECISE she was carrying out the activities as she always aspired:

“Living in Xinavane is challenging, the dry season is dusty, which causes me serious health problems, as I suffer from Allergic Rhinitis. In the rainy season the floodingscauses great transport problems. However, I really enjoy working with pregnant women., I currently work at the ANC and I hope to fulfill my passion in the future by working in maternity, helping women to bring a new life to the world..”

Finally, Belarmina revealed that she and several colleagues are happy and hopeful that better days are to come with the arrival in Mozambique on February 24 of the first batch of vaccines against COVID-19. In addition, they hope that vulnerable population and people working on front lines, such as health professionals are the first beneficiaries.