Ms. Fortunate Sindiswa Shabalala

Lecturer & Social Science Researcher, Health Sciences
Manzini, Manzini


Fortunate graduated from Swaziland Institute of Health Sciences, now Faculty of Health Sciences, Mbabane Swaziland, with a Diploma in General Nursing (1987); Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing (1991); Diploma in Midwifery Nursing (1996) and a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Nursing (2000). With a fellowship award from W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2003, she pursued her Master’s Degree in Public Health at The George Washington University and graduated in 2005. In 2011, Fortunate began working as a Junior Researcher for the University of Amsterdam’s Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). AISSR is a partner in the MaxART project implemented by a consortium of NGOs and Ministry of Health in Swaziland with funding from the Dutch PostCode Lottery to maximise HIV testing, ART enrolment, linkage and retention to care of people living with HIV. Her research focused on subjective illness experiences of adolescents; reasons for (non) uptake of HIV services, poor adherence and high attrition. She has produced commendable results that have had a major impact on adolescent policy and HIV in Swaziland. Her findings have been shared through local and international presentations in Vancouver, Canada; Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa. Locally, she has been a sought after consultant and advisor on adolescent issues in national policy forums and programme level meetings. Fortunate has over 25 years’ experience as a nurse and manager. She worked for government as a psychiatric nurse as well as non-governmental organisations at middle and senior management. She has been engaged as a lead consultant by various NGOs and UN agencies working on HIV and AIDS. These include developing technical guidelines, training curricula and manuals, capacity building, programme planning and evaluation as well as developing and costing strategic plans. She is the founder and director of LindaMshengu Consulting a subsidiary company of LindaMshengu Investments responsible for: 1) professional consultancy; 2) supply of medical equipment; 3) supply of stationary; and 4) events management and catering. Fortunate is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in medical anthropology at the University of Amsterdam with the hope of graduating in 2015. Fortunate is married with four daughters. Besides working with disadvantaged people, she is passionate about farming.