The house that cares for others

NOTHING can repay a life lost, and credit should be given to those who save lives.

This is a story of 59-year-old grandmother Mokede Kanare.

She is a simple, ordinary woman with an extraordinary job. She is a Village Health Volunteer (VHV), the closest thing to a medical officer in remote Kwiroknai Village – a two and a half hour drive out of Kiunga town, in North Fly District, Western Province.

From her humble home, she attends to minor medical issues, promotes healthy living and advocates for family planning in her rural community. Mrs Kanare is a certified VHV, having received her training under from OTML and OTDF in 2002 and 2003. She is trained in antenatal care, immunization, minor medical problems, medical emergencies and family planning. It is her passion to deliver babies safely, giving her best in every delivery to ensure that the baby is born alive and healthy.

In her quest, she also gives new and child bearing mothers advice on proper baby care, hygiene and family planning. To better serve her community, Mrs Kanare requested through her Trust for funds for a permanent modern family house .

In March this year, OTDF, through its Trust Program and PSO, made her wish come true by granting over K22,000 to a local builder to construct a modern 3-bedroom house.

The completed project was opened in May this year, much to the delight of locals and the children whom she helped to deliver over the years. Speaking during the opening of her home, Mrs Kanare said she realised that she needed a permanent location to carry out her work, instead of moving around to assist pregnant women deliver their babies.

Despite administrative issues such as not receiving any pay for the work she has done since 2002 nor support in terms of medical supplies, Mrs Kanare continues to help the women in her community by providing the

necessary medical advice they need to keep themselves and their families healthy and safe from preventable diseases.

“Mi no kisim wanpla singol toea long wok mi mekim, deti wok, mi no askim long moni, mi wok 17 yias pinis natin” she said.

Mrs. Kanare has so far delivered 14 babies and works to ensure many more are given the chance to live, and become persons of influence someday.

Unsung heroes like Mrs. Kanare deserve recognition and support for the work they do, for the betterment of this country.

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