THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Of PLWHAs and Volunteers

We had just finished the elections of office bearers during our AGM last week when a call came in on my hand phone from an unfamiliar number. I jokingly told my colleagues somebody was already calling me to congratulate me on my new post…

I was taken by surprise when the guy who called introduced himself as so and so from Cameron Highlands Hospital. He said Yah was in Cameron Highlands that day and did not bring along her medication – her HIV meds which she was not supposed to miss. So she went to the hospital to ask if they could supply her with the particular meds. Not knowing the name of the drug, she just told them “ubat yang warna biru tu”. Duh! When they insisted to know the name of the drug, she gave them my phone number, telling them that I was the one who’s taking care of her. (Huh?? Since when did I become her nanny?!)

I told the guy I’m from an NGO which provides support service, and as such matters regarding medication etc must be referred direct to the HIV clinic, not to us volunteers.

Yah… Yah… who does she think I am… easily giving away my phone number to others? And what was she doing in Cameron Highlands?! If it was a planned trip, she should have remembered to take her meds along. Did she go for an unplanned date or something?

Aduuuh… I miss the old Yah lah. I mean the pre-Mr. Darling Yah. *Sigh*

Anyway, lucky me, during my recent holidays, none of my PLWHA clients called. I only told Fuzi about it when I visited her last week but none of my other clients knew about my trip to Langkawi. Good thing none of them had problems to discuss during that time. So that was really a good break for me.

But just one day back from Langkawi, I received a text message from Shila, telling me that she had missed her medication for 2 consecutive nights already. When asked why, she said she was so tired she slept early and as such she missed her medication which she’s supposed to take at 9 pm. I told her that even if she was tired, she should have asked someone else in her house (her mother or her sister) to wake her up at 9pm to enable her to take her meds. Or at least she should just set her alarm to ring at 9 pm so that she’d be reminded of her medication whether or not she’s sleeping at that time. She has not been doing so because she said so far she had not missed her meds.

That’s the trouble with some of these clients. I always tell them to set the alarm (either alarm clock or their hand phone) so that they’d be reminded EVERY time to take their meds. But NOOOO…. they always insist they won’t forget and as such there was no need to set the alarm. So stubborn! *Sigh*…

Last night we had our Board Meeting – the first board meeting after our recent AGM. Hence the first board meeting I chaired. Last night’s meeting was more to determine who’s taking which portfolio. Something like sorting out our cabinet lah – except that we didn’t have to worry about watikah perlantikan or angkat sumpah… (sumpah-menyumpah maybe lah!)

I am still handling the Education Fund and Sponsorship for Children, so those of you who are sponsoring any children through Buddies, you can still liaise with me on this matter.

Other portfolios include Outreach, Client Welfare, Training, Volunteer Care, Fellowship, Fund Raising, HIV Clinic and Buddy Bears.

What was obvious during the last AGM was that we are really in desperate need of more volunteers. It’s the same pool of people we have to pull into the various sub-committees… and as such, I’m afraid soon we’re going to have a group of volunteers suffering from burnout (myself included).

So last night, we decided to create a new portfolio for Publicity and Recruitment. This sub-committee will have to come up with ways and means not only to publicize our NGO, but also to create more awareness amongst the public on HIV/AIDS. Along the way, we hope to be able to get more volunteers (especially the young and energetic ones) to join us.

Those of you staying in and around Ipoh - any takers?


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

dont mean to be too hard on them but cant they be more responsible, at least for their own sake? not accusing any of them of being too pampered but sounds a bit like it, taking everything way too easy-lah.

Pi Bani said...

That's what I always bebel to them... that they have to be more responsible for themselves. But as always ada ajelah alasan diorang. Bukan tak pernah kena marah dengan I and the staff nurse at the HIV clinic, tapi some of them (not all though) tak reti serik.

But I don't know if I can really blame them totally. Maybe due to their background or upbringing, some of them macam "slow" sikit nak reason out what we've been trying to tell them. They don't "see" that far sebab dah terbiasa hidup susah, so every day they just think of today instead of thinking of the future.

Nightwing said...

Helo Kak,

First off...nice set up on ur blog.

Hope ur team's recruiting effort will bear fruit.

Pi Bani said...

Yep, I hope so too. If no new volunteers, then I'm not sure how long the energy and enthusiasm of the present volunteers will last. Must think of something to boost their spirit!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

yea, could be the way they were brought up.

Rita Ho said...

Hey Pi ... I really like the remodel of your "rumah". Pink is not my favorite color but somehow the new look appeals to me. It must be the overpowering contents. Seriously. :)

Can I ask an ignorant question? What happens when the PLWHA miss their medication? What time line is considered serious?

Pi Bani said...

Actually pink is not my favorite color either... hehehe! But I don't have to paint my house with my favorite color do I? :)

As for HIV medication, the PLWHAs who have started on medication must take their medication on time. The purpose is to suppress the virus to stop it from replicating itself. At the most if they delay it shouldn't be more than half an hour lah (that one also late already). If the PLWHAs miss medication quite often then the virus may multiply and as such it will defeat the whole purpose of taking the medication.

Rita Ho said...

Pi ... Actually, pink is not a bad color for a house but it takes a bit of getting used to. We have a pink house in our neighborhood. I grimaced at it for a couple of years because EVERYTHING about it is pink and it is surrounded by pink cherry blossoms, plus the lady wears pink all the time. She is often a topic of conversation in town. Haha ..

Neny said...

Kak Pi, what happen if they miss their medication and why must they take it on certain time?

Pi Bani said...

You don't happen to have the Pink Panther stay in your neighborhood, do you? ;)

Pi Bani said...

Please read my answer to Rita. The HIV is a very clever virus. When the PLWHAs take their medication, the virus will just stay put, dok diam-diam. When and if the PLWHA terlambat or termiss makan ubat, the virus will detect that the medication is not there to suppress it and therefore it will come out and replicate itself and as such akan bertambahlah the virus in that person's body.