A calling to help people

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Sereana Buli with her certificate in community palliative care. Picture: WATA SHAW

For more than five years, Sereana Buli has pushed the boundaries for women in Fiji’s health care community.

She currently works as a community health worker stationed at the Lomaivuna Health Centre in Naitasiri.

Ms Buli says from a young age, she was always passionate about helping people.

“I have been working as a health worker for almost six years now and even though it is a tiring job, the reward is helping people,” she said.

The 33-year-old was among the 66 community health workers from Suva, Nasinu, Rewa, Naitasiri, Tailevu and Serua subdivisions who graduated recently from a community palliative care program.

The training was initiated by the Fiji Cancer Society (FCS) to help improve the quality of life for patients suffering from cancer in terms of suffering management, emotional and general support by providing holistic and integrative palliative care.

“I have helped many people over the years including the young, old, sick and less fortunate in the interior areas where sometimes technology and transport is an issue.

“But despite the many challenges I’ve faced I know this was my calling —to help people.”

She said the two-week program helped her gain knowledge on improving the quality of life for patients suffering from cancer.

“I am so grateful I was chosen to take part in this training for community workers in Fiji.

“Among other things, we learned how to prepare a patient in a bed and how to change the patient’s bedpan and diapers.

“We were also taught about oral care and dressing wounds.”

She added her unwavering faith in God and help from her family and friends, enabled her to achieve things beyond expectations.

“I thank FCS for having this training and will go back to Naitasiri and give back all that I have learned back to the community.

“I will go out into the community and encourage and help to those who are at the end of life.”

Ms Buli’s message to men and women who are thinking of entering this field is to ‘go for it!’.

“It is not too late to keep on striving for the best.

“I am going to continue to help those who are in need, not only cancer patients, but those who would need my help.”

Ms Buli said society often looked down on community health care workers but she said the job made her become closer with people in her community.

“Healthcare workers in the past used to be looked down upon in society but we are changing the mindset of people starting with this graduation.

“I hope to encourage men and women who wish to become community health workers to work hard and be honest in their work.

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