I was ill as a little boy and my father took me to see a doctor. I was frightened and in pain but as soon as the doctor came to me I felt calm. It was as if he was a holy man. He cared for me and through that I knew I would be well. That is how I want to make people feel now that I am the doctor. I want them to know that I am here for them and that I will help them for as long as I can.
I understand why many young doctors choose to work in private practice when they qualify - they can make money this way and the conditions are much better. There are not many fully qualified medical doctors working in these remote communities, but I feel called to this work. These people desperately need good medical care and that is why I am here. I don’t have plans to leave any time soon.
The conditions in Uteshu do take some getting used to for someone like me who grew up in the capital city. Luckily I’m too busy to think about it much.
Now that this health centre has such good facilities people come here from up to 70km away. They know they will get the best care and if there are problems most of the time they won’t have to make the dangerous transfer to the regional hospital - we can help them right here.
More women are giving birth here every month. We are wildly exceeding our targets and we will always help anyone who comes to us.
In 2010 we started our dedicated HIV clinic and have seen about 2500 cases. Many are mothers and pregnant women so we have a strict screening programme. The community health workers help us convince women to come in for their antenatal checks so we can screen them for HIV. If we discover a mother is HIV positive a combination of drugs for her and then her baby once born can have a 95% success rate of preventing transmission. This work is vital.
When I first came here it was overwhelming to see the level of suffering and poverty. The deaths of young women are never easy to accept. I talk to friends sometimes but I think I am used to it now.