Priskilla Salkeus is a public health advocate using social media to empower and educate Namibians and her followers across Africa on communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Priskilla is a qualified medical technologist working at the Namibia Institute of Pathology and currently pursuing her Master’s in public health with the University of Namibia. She is focused on seeing the statistics of the most prevalent diseases in the SADC region decline and sees her role as keeping up to date with the latest developments and exploring effective ways to educate the SADC region on disease prevention.
She uses social media to popularise the vast knowledge she has acquired in the field of medicine to contribute to public health outcomes in Namibia. She creates posts and videos that explore issues around HIV/Aids, malaria, leukaemia, diabetes and hepatitis E to raise awareness about these diseases affecting the community.
She describes herself as a health enthusiast and says that being at the forefront of health is her calling in life. Her passion for health led to her most recent project. She is currently working with a Namibian local television broadcaster, One Africa Television, to produce a health talk-show series called Health with Priskilla.
The show aims to address communicable and non-communicable diseases affecting the nation, bridging the gap in health knowledge and motivating people to seek timely medical attention. Her role model is Oprah Winfrey, whom she says has touched the lives of many through what started off as just a talk show – something she too intends to do.
She believes that five years from now, Health with Priskilla will not only be a talk-show but a network that effects change in Africa. The focus will gradually move from health education and the creation of a caring society through sharing the real-life stories of those suffering with various diseases, to establishing a well-known health brand that attracts local and international sponsors who will fund specialised treatment or surgeries for those who cannot afford lifesaving medical interventions.
She admits that juggling between work, school and endless meetings seeking sponsorship for her project has at times left her feeling mentally, physically and emotionally drained.
However, she is encouraged by the vision of a disease-free nation in the future. She defines a disease-free nation as one where the complete absence of disease may not be possible, but where people are ably empowered to recognise the presence of disease in its early stages and seek out timely medical attention, leading to a full recovery.
Priskilla explains that policies act as guidelines in decision making and need to be revised to accommodate the changes that have transpired in society over the last 10 or 20 years. She says it is the responsibility of young people to address Africa’s challenges by modifying existing policies on health, climate, infrastructure, trade and politics.
She believes that TYI 100 is the ultimate opportunity for her to represent her country, her profession and all those who are inspired by her work.