HBC workers do ‘sterling’ job

Voluntary village health workers here are working hard to care for members of their community who are HIV positive or suffering from other chronic diseases.

Members of the Plumtree home-based care group.
Members of the Plumtree home-based care group.

The concept of home-based care has taken off here thanks to the hard work and dedication of volunteers. The health care workers are now sought after in the area, with some prepared to pay for their services after being discharged from hospital.

One of the village health workers, Rebecca Nkomo, spoke about her work as a volunteer health worker.

“We provide assistance to sick patients at home who can’t afford to go to hospital or are discharged and need medical care. I work with a group of 20 other women who have under gone training to do the job,” said Nkomo.

She added that each member of the group was given a medical kit after completing a two month home based care course facilitated by the Matabeleland Aids Council. The kit contains soap, detergents, cotton wool, lotions, bandages and other necessary medication.

Another village health worker, Naume Siziba, said helping sick people, especially those who were bed ridden, was not an easy task.

“This job needs people who are dedicated and spiritually strong. It’s not easy to change pampers for a grown up who is not even your relative. There are also health risks involved. Sometimes we do not have proper protective clothing and we end up improvising,” said Siziba.

“The other challenge is juggling the patients and out own responsibilities. The National Aids Council should consider employing us, since we are playing such a critical role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

The health workers are currently looking after 20 patients in the area. Their daily duties involves washing and feeding the patients and cleaning their homes. Musa Sibindi, MAC’s programmes manager, paid tribute to the women.

“We are aware of the challenges these people face and MAC is doing everything to equip them and provide more training .These people are doing a sterling job under very difficult conditions,” said Sibindi.

She urged other developing agencies to complement her organisation’s efforts to fight HIV. According to NAC, Plumtree has one of the highest rates of HIV infection, due to its close proximity to the border.

Post published in: News

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