57 year old Silpher Okore, the TB nursing officer at Siaya County Referral Hospital has been a practicing nurse for the last 20 years. This has been mostly in the wards making the job a routine in that she could recall what is expected of her even in sleep. This changed two years ago when she was transferred to the TB clinic.
“When I was brought to the TB clinic, my work life became very difficult. I could not differentiate the medicines especially those of the children nor know how to manage patients. To avoid doing guess work. I used to disturb the clinician here who also doubles as the skin clinician on what to do and incase of his unavailability, I would call the county TB coordinator,” Silpher shares.
“My world brightened up after a on job training by the Siaya County TB Coordinator and the USAID TB ARC II Nyanza regional officer. The training has empowered me to a TB expert. I now know how to confirm TB, difference between smear negative and smear positive, GeneXpert diagnosis, how to interpret culture, when to start a patient on intensive phase, when to change continuation phase among others,” a happy Silpher says.
Silpher who serves at least six patients on normal day has now been capacity built to review the patients without necessarily relying on anyone.
Silpher is not keeping the knowledge earned to herself. She mentors her colleagues in the other departments on TB active case finding and conducts health education on TB prevention, management, and TB myths and misconceptions not only to the patients but also the community at large. “My biggest motivation is getting a patient cured, aid in the reduction of the pain they are going through,” Silpher concludes.