Not a profession, but a service, says Sister Justin, staff nurse of Pradeesha Care Home , a centre that provides treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA).Opening up her heart , she said, “I derive immense pleasure serving the PLHA since I personally feel that ‘Service to mankind is service to God’.” Initially, she had some hesitation to work among PLHA due to various misconceptions attributed to the diseases but soon she understand how important her role was in providing them support.Inspired by Mother Teresa, she has devoted her life for the welfare of PLHA.
Defining the role of a nurse, Justin said, “the one who is ready to sacrifice time, sleep and is able to instil confidence in the patient. Besides never being tired of hard work and one who is willing to offer a selfless service.”“Treating PLHA with great care, I am confident of breaking the fear and misconceptions related to this dreaded disease,” she said, adding that earlier the family members used to keep PLHA at a distance. Now, these social stigmas are fading gradually due to close interaction with the family members of the PLHA and involving them in the treatment procedure.
According to Dr N Sivakumar of Pradeesha Care Home, the 16-bedded centre was established last December at Arumugakavundanoor on the city outskirts for treatment and care for opportunistic infections besides monitoring those who have started with Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).The centre has so far treated over 400 patients, he said, adding that home visits are also conducted for supporting the HIV+ people. Besides, counsellor Jeba Rosamma attached to the centre helps in conducting weekly meetings with family members of HIV+ patients.