Having a heart for the job

Normal, Weekender


SISIA Doura, is a volunteer from Elevala village in Port Moresby, who administers DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short-course) to TB patients.
She was a TB patient herself and is now 100% free of this disease.
Mrs Doura now helps her community by identifying, referring and treating TB patients from her village and the nearby village, Badihagwa.
This will be her fourth year in this programme.
Her day to day job involves treatment of patients in the mornings, then she starts going from door to door in the afternoons when the patients don’t turn up for treatment.
She makes it really easy for everyone, as she collects the sputum herself, delivers it to the clinic for testing, then collects the results plus medication for her patients.
Mrs Doura said all the patients need to do is to be faithful to the treatment that she administers.
The medicine is very powerful, therefore when her patients go to her with an empty stomach, she feeds them before treating them.
She told The National Weekender that even-though she’s not paid to do this job, she does it lovingly and wholeheartedly because she wants her community free from TB.
Mrs Doura said it is a worry because TB is a preventable and curable disease, yet many people are still dying from it. 
She said it is a concern that has to be thought about seriously as her community is over crowded not only by the locals, but settlers from other regions as well.
If one person has TB, 15 plus people are likely to contract it from this one untreated sick person.
Since 2006, out of 60 TB suspects she dealt with, 28 were positive with this disease.
She has since assisted in their treatment to get them healthy again.
Only two of her patients died as a result of not faithfully taking their medication.
At the moment she has five patients. Four are healthy and fit again, and have gone back to their jobs.
One, Ray Frank, 49 of Badihagwa is all lively and well again and is back tending to his garden.
When Mrs Doura took World Vision’s (WV) TB advocacy team and The National to visit him earlier this month, the now healthy and happy Mr Frank had nothing but praise for what DOTS has done for him.
He said, he was sick for a long time, where different medical tests were done (even HIV/AIDS) but nothing was found.
Mr Frank said that although he was faithful to all the medication that were given those days, his condition continued to deteriorate.
He was losing a lot of weight, was always very cold, endless painful coughs, became very weak and bedridden.
Mr Frank was on the verge of giving up when Mrs Doura found him and started following up on his case.
After going on DOTS for a couple of weeks, his cough cleared, his appetite and weight regained.