“I hope to impact others”

Ethel Dorothy Itayi Tsomondo is a Nurse Educator at the Parirenyatwa School of Nursing, where she educates student nurses and postgraduate nursing students. She took part in our HIV management course for nurse tutors. People like her are key in cascading the knowledge acquired to student nurses across the country. In this interview, Ethel Dorothy Itayi Tsomondo shares her learnings and hopes after the course.

How is the training going to influence your work as a teacher?
It was eye-opening. I had learned about HIV before, but many things changed. Equipped with updated information, I will revisit my teaching materials and change some of them. The knowledge I’ve acquired will help me to influence young students and postgraduate students on a personal level; this, in turn, will ensure quality care as well as empowerment of patients and the community at large.

What information resonates the most with you?
I have learned not just to focus on treatment, but to also pay attention to the psychosocial aspects of people for better adherence. It’s not just a person with a disease, but a person with family and psychosocial and economic issues to deal with. We must involve them in therapeutic regimens rather than use a prescriptive approach. People need to be empowered so that even if they are HIV-positive, it’s possible to live a normal life. That’s amazing.

What struck you most about Newlands Clinic?
This place is well-resourced. Drugs and test kits are available. It’s an eye-opener for staff to know about the comprehensive services offered at this place. Here one can get a complete package of help. Besides that, the nurses and doctors are very caring and bond with the patients. That is truly inspirational. And it’s only possible thanks to donors who make it possible to offer quality care.

What are you hoping for after this course?
As an educator of healthcare workers, I have a platform to spread the knowledge I gained here. I hope to impact others so they can handle problems related to sexual and reproductive health issues in a better way. People should get tested regularly. HIV is not a death sentence anymore. People should be encouraged to adhere to therapeutic regimens and understand the benefits of doing so. As health workers, we should strive to crush stigma.