Deep within the rural landscape of Zimbabwe, Nyadire United Methodist Hospital strives to deliver quality health care services despite severely limited resources. The staff attribute their strength and perseverence to their faith in God, which helps them provide patients with love, compassion, and wonderful care.
Catherine Nyabvure has been a mainstay of Nyadire United Methodist Hospital (NUMH) since she started her training at the school of nursing in 1955. She was one of 12 students. Almost 50 years later, Catherine's experience provides a living, walking history of Zimbabwe, Nyadire and NUMH.
After she completed her training, Catherine first worked as an assistant in the operating theater for many years. More recently she moved into the pediatrics ward, where she enjoys caring for her young patients and watching the children heal.
Also trained as an HIV/AIDS counselor, Catherine works with female patients and coaches them on how to protect themselves from the disease. Though Catherine believes that the women have become more responsive to her counsel in recent months, she is frustrated and disappointed that the majority of women do not take her advice or seem to pay attention to the life-threatening consequences of HIV.
Catherine is also discouraged by the social myths and pressures that exacerbate the spread of HIV infection in Zimbabwe. For instance, many believe people get AIDS because they have bewitched. Other issues are stigma and discrimination. Catherine knows women infected with HIV or with the symptoms of AIDS who have been banished from their homes and shunned by their families. "I hope we will all join together to understand and accept", she sadly comments.
According to the World Health Organization, 24% of the current population is infected with AIDS, the majority of them being women and children. More than 1.8 million Zimbabweans live with the disease today. The toughest aspect of Catherine's job is seeing so many young people become infected with AIDS. She is saddened that a whole generation of is dying.
Catherine retired from the hospital in 2002, planning to spend more time with her five children and ten grandchildren. To the delight of the Matron and the staff, however, Catherine returned to nursing in 2003 when she realized her skills were desperately needed. "I was called to be a nurse. The hospital has shaped and molded me spiritually and physically." Catherine needs to be near and serve NUMH; and the patients and staff need her too.
Nyadire United Methodist Hospital, Advance #982168
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