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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Dr Edwin Mavunika Mapara

 

For Dr. Edwin Mapara, showing beats telling, especially when it comes to educating people about the deadly threats posed by HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis.

In 1989, Dr. Mapara pioneered a teaching strategy showing pictures and posters of people living with HIV and AIDS, aptly calling it “AIDucation”. Since then, his strategy has proven effective in helping to prevent new HIV infections and provide better care and support to people inflicted with these diseases.

All three of Dr. Mapara’s books were self-published through Xlibris: AIDUCATION 20-10 Taking Control of AIDS; AIDUCATION 20-10 TAKING CONTROL OF TB & AIDS; and The Health of the Stars (HOTS) Hospital 20-10.

“At first, AIDucation was not taken seriously and was labelled controversial and alarmist by critics and foreign consultants who came to Africa to assess the AIDS control programmes there”, Dr. Mapara reveals.

Through sheer effort and determination, Dr. Mapara proved that using colour images of HIV/AIDS in a workshop setting was more effective as they evoked more discussions when compared to conventional educational materials.

Before long, the public, as well as medical colleagues began to take a positive view toward his books with many declaring it long overdue. His books are now being used as reference books by several organisations.

Dr. Mapara also uses his AIDucation books when teaching in London universities. His students find his work very useful as reference books in the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene courses for doctors, as well as the Diploma in Tropical Nursing (DTN) courses for nurses.

“I wrote AIDUCATION 20-10 books in the same way that I lecture, through stories and pictures, as seeing is very different from being told, and seeing is believing.”

For his tireless volunteer work with HIV patients in Zambia, Dr. Mapara won the prestigious Mwape Peers Physician Award in 2011. The award is given to outstanding doctors who consistently achieve high standards in the practice of medicine by finding innovative ways of delivering quality medical care despite budgetary constraints.

“The biggest public impact for me has been the New York City 2011 Mwape Peer Awards where I was awarded the Physician Award 2011 with the three Xlibris books of AIDUCATION 20-10 playing a major role in my being selected,” he says.

“There are fifty-one comments that have been posted on the UKZambians’ website link by folks who have experienced AIDucation 20-10 Taking Control of AIDS, after I won the Physician Award 2011 at the New York City Mwape Peer Awards 2011.”

The success Dr. Mapara enjoys right now is a result of years of hard work, the decision to publish his books, and the invaluable help of colleagues.