Successful awareness despite manpower shortage

Urban clinics in Port Moresby are not immune to the issue of manpower shortage. But in spite of that, staff of Tokarara clinic were not deterred from conducting a four-day health awareness.

The health workers from Tokarara clinic last week organised themselves into small groups of three and with the help of volunteers, engaged with the community, moving from one venue to another in their catchment area.

Four different venues were set up at Waigani Market, Waigani bus stop, Kone Tigers Oval and Telikom compound.

The clinic was opened for normal business on the first three days but was closed on Friday to allow all clinic staff to participate in the awareness program, which begun with a float.

The awareness covered HIV and AIDS and factors that contribute to the spread of HIV such as gender based violence (GBV).  They also did well-checks for adults, including tests for high blood pressure and sugar blood tests.

Those with high blood pressure and high sugar levels were referred to the clinic for follow-ups.

They also distributed pamphlets and condoms, supplied by the National AIDS Council.

Final count of the IEC materials distributed revealed that 7000 condoms and 2500 pamphlets were distributed as well as tests for HIV done for 36 people that came forward.  

Health workers conducting the tests were surprised to get many people coming for HIV test, unlike at the clinic which sees about one person a week.

Many people applauded the Tokarara health workers and volunteers for bringing this service to the community.

The Seventh Day Adventist Health Services, which manages this clinic, funded the awareness program.

(Tokarara clinic health workers and volunteers at the awareness)

Frieda Kana