Vhembe – A graduation ceremony was recently held for home-based carers in the municipal district of Tshilamba in Limpopo.
OurHealth spoke to one of the graduates, Julia Netshitanzhe, a 35-year-old woman who lives with her three daughters in Tshiungani village. "I am very passionate about my work and I really enjoy working with people, especially the elderly and those who need my help when taking their medicines," she said.
Home-based carers visit patient at their homes to help monitor their medical conditions, ensure that they take their medicenes and to provide them with other basic medical assistance.
One of Julia’s patients is Mushaya Ndou, a 60-year-old woman who lives in Mafukani village. "I love Julia because she treats me like her own mother. Every Wednesday she comes by to check up on me and she always advises me to take my TB medications as instructed. But what I love most about her is that she is very patient," said Ndou.
Julia also visits patients in Gundani village every Friday."I feel very blessed to have Julia as my caretaker because she treats us with respect. Even though we are not her biological family, she cares for us even better than our own children," said Masindi Mukwevho.
Another one of Julia’s patients, Thakhani Mulumbela from Gundani village is also very thankful for her help. "Having someone like Julia here in our community is a very good thing - she is one in a million. She has a big heart and any village would be lucky to have her as their carer because she treats all her patients equally," said Mulumbela, a patient living with high blood pressure.
The community knows that Julia is very dedicated to her job. "I wouldn't want anyone else to take care of me. She is very helpful even though she doesn’t get paid very much," said Thingahangwi Mbedzi a 43-year-old man living with HIV/AIDS.
"I am very happy to know that my patients are fond of me and they think that I am the best, but it is just that I am doing something I like in the community that I love," Julia concluded.
Suprise Nemalale is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Vhembe health district in Limpopo.