VOICES FROM THE FIELD

 

"The positive outcomes of what I do and all the efforts I put into doing my job well, is what makes me happy. It is all worthwhile."

Peer Supporter, Uganda.

"One day, when I was a little girl, my father became very ill. It was difficult for my family to find a doctor who could help my father. Eventually, we found a doctor and this doctor came to our home and he helped my family and I nurse my father back to health. It was then, when I realised I wanted to become a doctor too. This is why I am a doctor today. I wanted to ensure that having access to doctors and medical assistance was not as difficult for other families, as it was for mine."

Doctor, Uganda.

"When patients have health problems and do not sharing their problems with healthcare workers when they come for check-ups, these patients put their health and the health of others at risk. This makes me really sad."

"I have met so many women who are escorted by their male partners to antenatal visits and joining the mother in bringing their babies or children to under five years old clinic visits and even escorting them to HIV testing and counselling. To see couples do this together is amazing! It truly shows how far we have come in the struggle to have male involvement in the development of children. We are moving forward. I enjoy being a part of this gradual pace of development. It is empowering and comforting to know that the efforts of us, the healthcare workers and organisations like PATA are not in vain."

Health Surveillance Assistant, Malawi.

"Meeting a female, whom is pregnant for the first time and assisting her up until her baby is born and even two years after her baby is delivered is such an amazing experience for me. Sharing this experience with mothers makes me really happy."

Nurse, Malawi.

"My colleagues and I all bring our own skills and contributions to playing a part in assisting the children who visit our clinic to health. When we achieve this goal and other goals we set out as a team and as a Health facility, I feel extremely proud to be a healthcare provider."

Medical Assistant, Malawi.

“The thought of an HIV free generation is what motivates me to do my very best at work and in my community.”

Community Health Worker, Ethiopia

 

“This is my profession. I do the best that I can do in my profession and in turn I get the satisfaction of helping people along the way. I enjoy my job.”

Lab technician, Ethiopia

   

 

It is sort of a calling. I have been trained as a nurse and my last attachment as a student, I was attached to a paediatric ward and when I qualifiedas a nurse, I worked in a paediatric ward too. I just fell in love with those people, the children and adolescents. It is a calling for me.”

"I have worked with an HIV-positive adolescent since she was in secondary school. She is now 22 years old, a lady. I was with her when she stared dating. I counselled her up to the time she got married traditionally as well as up to the time she had a white wedding. I was in the family meetings, planning her wedding. I also did the couples counselliing with them and right now they have a baby and the baby is HIV-negative. That really makes me happy. The relationship we have built and the journey we have gone through together really makes me happy.”

Nurse, Zimbabwe.

 
   

 

“I just have passion for the patients. I don’t like to see someone lying in bed, sick and dying of an infection. Because with someone being healthy that means our country and continent will be proactive”

"My happiest moments are when I see children responding well to treatment and that they are happy and aware of and understand why they are on treatment."

"I don’t want to see any problems with the adolescents when they receive their treatment from hospitals. I want to see excellent adherence and I want to see them improve in life."

“I advise young doctors to try and be patient with people seeking medical support. Talk to your patients and be kind. Give your patients a space in which they feel comfortable. When a patient feels comfortable enough to speak about his or her medical condition, the doctor is able to treat and care for the patient much more effective;y.”

Doctor, Zambia.

   
 

"For adolescents, doctors should realise that these are people who have graduated from childhood but society has not allowed them to graduate and they are irritated by this. They want to be liberated; they feel as if they are in bondage. So they are very conscious of control. So my advice to young doctors is that you should allow these children, these adolescents, to lead you. If you allow them, if you ask them questions and try to find out what they want, you will never have any problems with them. But when you try to tell them what you want you will run into lots of complexities."

"Initially, I did not plan to be a doctor; I wanted to be a pilot. My father did not fully support this decision, So I studied to become a doctor. At first, I thought I was trying to fulfill my father’s wish by becoming a doctor. But, when I went into this profession, it gave me so much joy and satisfaction! I don’t care how much money is in my pocket, my satisfaction is the satisfaction of the patient."

“Adolescents initially prove to be very impossible to work with and yet, very intersting too. Trying to lead adolescents seems to always lead to complexities. My approach is to let the adolescents lead me. This makes communication easier and allows me to find out the exact issues that the adolescents are facing. Since I have discovered this formula, I always allow them to lead, then problems become less difficult and we solve issues together.”

Doctor, Nigeria.

 

   
 

“I went into this field to help children, because where I am coming from children are being discriminated and do not have access to treatment. So when I see them not accessing treatment I have the passion to say, ‘Can I give them the right treatment so that they can also see the futher?’"

"As a pharmacy guy, I like best to see the children grow, see them interact with each other. I see them become leaders as adolescents child living with HIV."

"My proudest moments are when I give support through counselling and dispense the correct dosage of drugs to the adolescents at my clinic. I know that in my job, I play an extremely important role in the lives of these adolescents and I try my best to help them where I can."

Pharmacist, Malawi.

 

   

 

“I believe that the medical profession is like a calling. I grew up around relatives who were sick with HIV and I wanted to do something to help. I could have been a lawyer but I said, ‘No, let me go for medicine’. I wanted to help people.”

"Working with children just gives me the satisfaction that you are working with people who have dreams, they want to be somewhere. And so helping them overcome the challenges they have medically, I have realised I contribute to what they want to be. That makes me happy."

"Working with children from the PMTCT stage too putting them on treatment and witnessing them adhering well. I see them develop and age from toddlers, through to Primary school, graduating from college and moving onto university. They are happy and living healthy lives. They come back to the clinic and say, ‘Thank you, Doctor´. Seeing them succeed in life makes me very happy. My work, makes me happy.”


Doctor, Uganda.

   
 

“I enjoy working with children living with HIV. Children speak their mind and they understand when you talk to them.”

Community health worker, Kenya.

   
 

"These children have to cope with living with HIV/ AIDS, so it’s best if you, the health worker, show care when working with them and give them your support and make them feel at home."

"When children startour programme. When we begin caring for these children and they are doing very well on treatment. You can sense their happiness and improved perspective of life in general. Moments like these make me proud."

“My advice to newly qualified nurses, is to be patient and tolerant when providing a service to adolescents and even to adults. As a nurse, if you can combine patience and tolerance when working with adults and adolescents, you could positively impact their efforts to adhere to treatment and to their clinic appointments.”

Nurse, Uganda.

   

 

"When I was at school, I saw a nurse in a beautiful white dress, and I thought to myself ´I want to be a nurse one day´. I Managed to do that and I am extremely happy with the path I have taken."

"I always advise the adolescents and all the patients I work with; to be active and try to live a healthy lifestyle and always try to educate themselves, not only about their illness, but also about general life and the world around them. ´Empower yourself!´."

Nurse, Malawi.

   
 

"I get irritated when children report for more pills. Or when it shows that their adherence is not good. We, as healthcare workers, stress the importance of always checking that child take their drugs, to the caretakers. It’s frustrating when the caretakers don’t do their work."

“My happiest moments are when the procurement of drugs arrives at the clinic and all the drugs that are needed are there. Then, I know every child will have access to the treatment they need and the clinic will be able to provide a good service to patients.”

“My advice to pharmacists, especially the young ones who have just qualified, is that they should work hard and they should be trusted by their colleagues and management at their workplace with managing all drugs, especially antiretroviral drugs because antiretrovirals are not easy to procure. Best wishes to young and experienced Pharmacists.”

"The best part of my job is when I dispense drugs... that’s how I know people are taking the treatment they need."

Pharmacist, Malawi.

   

 

"I like working with children living with HIV because some of them are orphans and some of them are living with their relatives. So when they work with me I try to give them the attention and care they miss in their homes and I make sure they take their drugs properly. They should have good adherence. I run the teen club in Malawi and many of the adolescents there, love me."

Counsellor, Malawi