Lucy Chesire’s Trip to the UK

Lucy Chesire is a nutritionist by trade and an activist by calling. In 1997, Lucy became the first female health professional in Kenya to publicly acknowledge her HIV status. In 2000, as is the case with close to 80% of HIV patients who contract tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa, Lucy came close to death. She has since recovered from TB and now uses her personal story to educate and engage.

In February 2005, ACTION partner RESULTS UK hosted an advocacy tour for Lucy. On her journey, Lucy made several key stops:

  • She met with the Department for International Development (DFID).
  • She met one-on-one with key UK Members of Parliament (MPs) representing all of the major parties at the House of Commons, all of whom showed great interest in combined TB-HIV interventions.
  • She spoke about her experiences to approximately 40 students in the International Development course at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS).
  • She was interviewed via multiple media outlets including television (“The Sunday Programme” on GMTV), radio (“Network Africa” on BBC World Service) and online (Diaspora online magazine).

Overall, the trip was a great success. Relationships were forged with key decision makers, substantial media coverage was generated and Lucy’s visit was discussed at the highest level. Lucy said she really enjoyed the opportunity to tell people about the “realities on the ground as opposed to what they had just read in books”. She also said her work that week gave her a new “lease of life.”