Robinson Cabello, Peru
Working hard to scale up access to health services and treatment
Dr Robinson Cabello has played a key role in launching, for the first time in Peruvian history, a National Health Programme for the treatment of people living with HIV. The programme, which started in 2004, is now providing access to HIV treatment for more than 15,000 people living with HIV. His mission is to contribute to people's happiness by improving the quality of their lives.
More about this health hero
Robinson Cabello wakes up every day contemplating how he can help reduce the barriers to access to HIV treatment and prevention. He is a doctor and the Executive Director of Via Libre, one of the most active organizations in the fight against HIV/Aids in Peru. His strong political campaigns and determination to gain universal access has placed the fight against HIV at the center of the Peruvian National Health's agenda.
He has a restless mind. Besides helping to launch a National Program for the access to treatment of HIV, he is currently promoting new initiatives to increase access to universal prevention. He represents Via Libre in several networks around the world and is a key member of more than ten different organisations. However, it is his personal relationship with the community groups that fills him with pride. "Everyday there is something new to tackle. When I see people with hope and optimism, regardless of their problems, it makes me keep fighting," he says.
Since childhood he has been interested in helping and being useful to others. Towards the end of his university degree he became concerned about stigma and discrimination directed towards people living with HIV. When joining Via Libre. "I almost instantly realised that I have found my mission in life. I have seen a lot of people dying and suffering due to stigma and discrimination related to HIV. I saw there was still much to do in this challenging area, which meant learning from and bringing together various disciplines, not only as a doctor," he explains.
He manages, coordinates, supports and facilitates the work of 100 Via Libre workers, developing activities and communicating with key institutions to tackle HIV in Peru. "Our country needs more sustainable health policies, new technologies and knowledge to improve the impact against the HIV/Aids," says Robinson.
The need for innovation is an engine for his work. In the past 10 years, Robinson has been able to mobilise resources and projects for HIV prevention activities which have reached more that 100,000 beneficiaries through Via Libre.
Dr Cabello's main challenge for the future is that the most excluded populations in Peru can exercise their right to have access to universal health care. \"I will continue fighting until everything is done on HIV/Aids and there is still so much to do,\" he adds.