Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Egu: “If you have not done the HIV test, you are as positive as Iam"

You could have heard a pin drop at the crowded Sir Peter Barter Auditorium when Mr. Joe Egu talked about his life experiences to the Health Management students.
Joe is a Person Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and he related some stories about his life as a Person Living With HIV/AIDS to the Health Management Students and staff earlier this month.
His talk on HIV/AIDS is one part of the Health Managements Department multi-approach towards encouraging and motivating its students outside of their ‘normal’ academic studies to be better people.
In absolute silence, the Health Manage­ment students and staff listened as Joe recounted with passion and emotion his experiences and for many, it was their first time, they had heard from a PLWHA talk about HIV/AIDS.

Health Management students listen to Mr. Egu's talk. The meeting took place in the Sir Peter Barter Auditorium (SPBA)

He said that he had accepted his HIV status long ago and even though he faced discrimination in many situations, he used this as a stepping stone to share and talk about HIV/AIDS throughout the country. In 2008, he launched an organization called the ‘People Living with Higher Aims’ as a means to sup­port PLWHAs live positively in their communities. This organization also focused on providing home based care to PLWHAs and those terminally ill. He also showed examples of how posi­tive living with the help of Antiretro­viral medication could help a PLWHA live longer and support their families better.
He pointed out that he, himself, is an example of what positive living can do for PLWHAs. He said that with the help of Antiretroviral therapy, his im­munity was strengthened and he was able to have a child with his wife - who are both currently HIV negative.
Joe urged everyone in the SPBA room to go for Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) to know their status.
He said: “If you have not done the HIV test, you are as HIV positive as Iam!
“The knowledge you learn through VCT gives you the power to change your life, your attitude and your sexual behavior.”
He reiterated that the current Health Man­agement students would one day be at the forefront of managing HIV/AIDS programs in the country especially in terms of manag­ing programs related to HIV/AIDS Preven­tion and Care & Counseling.

Picture above shows Mr Egu (standing) giving a powerpoint presentation of the work of People Living With Higher Aims in Madang. Picture below shows Mr.Egu (left) standing with one of the HM Tutors, Mr. Gigil Marme (right)

“You all HM students have a mammoth task ahead of you.
“Why I say a mammoth task is because you, as future health managers, will have to ensure that threefold objectives of the Vision 2050 concerning HIV/AIDS - Zero New Infection, Zero HIV related Deaths, Zero Stigma and Discrimina­tion – though difficult to achieve, would still fall in your hands as you would be managing public health institutions, and public health services in the country in the next two decades,” he said.
The Head Of Department for Health Management, Ms. Margareth Samei, thanked Mr. Joe Egu for his talk to the students and staff and pointed out that his experiences as a PLWHA highlight­ed the many issues facing PLWHAs in this country.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Its Friday in Red!

Each Friday of the week, the Health Management staff and students are asked to wear red to support the fight against HIV/AIDS in our country and promote a community that is free from HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination.
Pictured here are second year Health Management students getting ready for their first class on a Friday morning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health Managers must work with the Media to improve health information

Health Managers can play a huge role in how people respond to public health issues in the media
This was the message from Ms. Rosalyn Albaniel Evara who is the Bureau Chief for the Madang Branch of the Post Courier when she talked to the Health Management Year four students.
Mrs. Evara said that many times people who are in charge of public health the provinces such as health managers and administrators have a role to play when it comes to relaying the correct information to people through the media.
She said: “Why is there now a resurgence of leprosy cases? We thought that we had done away with this disease but now it is creeping back into our society. Why is it that now we are seeing cases of deformi­ties presenting in our hospitals that our doctors are alarmed at?
“The reasons as to why such diseases and health problems are coming back must be researched and its findings presented to the media so that people are aware of this public health issue.
“ The media and health managers must work together to inform the public about what is happening in our communities.

Rosalyn talking to the Helath Management Year four students.

Mrs. Evara, as part of her talk, outlined many aspects of the newspaper industry that she worked on.
She said that the most fulfilling part of her work was when she writes stories about health and because of the stories are high­lighted in the papers, help is immediate and forthcoming to those in need.
“I don’t have a vehicle to do my job. I travel by bus or on foot to court houses, tertiary institutions, police stations, companies, provincial governments and many other places to get news. The pay isn’t so good and the hours are long but I do it because I have a passion for this country. I want to write about things that change peoples lives for the better. If I can write a story and a mother in a remote Josephstal can have water piped to her village, that, for me, is the pinnacle of helping Papua New Guinea move forward.
Her session with the HM year four students is part of the ‘HM 403 Work­ing with the Media’ course to learn more about how newspaper in the country operate.