Isadha: Community saviour
“I am a saviour!” jokes Isadha. But to many of her neighbours, it’s not far from the truth. For the past 15 years Isadha has volunteered as a village health worker, trained to recognise and diagnose treatable conditions, and encourage people to seek help for them.
“Many people are not aware of the health centre services, so I encourage them and help them to go, especially when there are new services. Sometimes I work with village officials or health workers. I go to the patients. I can diagnose different conditions – we had three days of training when I started – and I tell them to come here to the health centre. I’m always here in the health centre.”
The role is unpaid and elected. When Isadha began she was one of just five volunteers in the parish, but there are now 25, and the increase in numbers means they can cover far-flung villages more easily.
“When there were fewer of us it was difficult, but now it’s not – people are very happy to come once they know as they need the services. The people in the community are very happy with my work. I know them and they all know me. They trust me.”