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Other Heroes from United Kingdom

Rachel Makombe Chikanda

Nurse (retired)

United Kingdom

Rachel Makombe Chikanda, 67 years old, was a registered nurse who returned to work after retirement to help with COVID-19. Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, she had previously worked at the Parirenyatwa Hospital for 47 years before retiring at the age of 65. She passed away at the Royal London Hospital after spending 21 days fighting for her life on a ventilator.

Makombe is survived by three daughters and seven grandchildren.

She was the first girl child in a Chitsanza:Manica Village to attend school at St David’s Bonda School. Her successes opened up doors and benchmarks to other children (both girls and Boys) to pursue education.

She did her nurse Training at Harare Hospital-Zimbabwe. Then she transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and through her passion for nursing, she trained and mentored quite a few nurses during her career. Her passion was Infection Control and Infectious Diseases which led her travel the world attaining more knowledge in looking after infectious diseases patients, before settling in the UK.

Her career started at St Bartholomews now known as The Royal London and subsequently moved over to Coppetts Wood Hospital then Royal Free Hospital. She worked with Infectious Disease patients during the Ebola and SARS outbreaks as well as HIV patients, some of whom are from the Zimbabwean community whom she adopted as her own.