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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Mother who has determined heart

By Jacob Marcos


 Brigitte: Photo by Jacob Marcos /Supplied

A 45 year old determined mother of eight children from Kititanga  Gulf Province had scarified her life to made to Kerema in two days for what should have been a week-journey for a health workshop.

 The mother Brigitte Ben Banakato, a community health worker who aimed for the workshop as her only tool for development did not want to miss out so she had determined to face all old odds.

 Brigitte who served at a remote Kititanga Aid Post in the Kerema District for almost 15 years championed some of the rugged terrains of the province for the weeklong workshop last week.

 The Oil Search Foundation sponsored rollout program was about policies governing health workers’ administrative and clinical, primary and public health roles and provides guidelines and platform for infrastructural developments, risk management and safety, medico-legal aspects, work forces standards, human resource and pharmacy.

 She had only been informed of the workshop on Health Standard Assessment Training program by her authorities but her schedule to fly out on a charted airplane was not made known until after the flight left.

 “I heard the plane flying over me when I was at the garden but did not know that it was my flight leaving as I was not informed of my schedule,” Brigitte said in a fading tone.

 “I thought it was the North Coast Aviation that normally does her routine and left until I got a text message from my (CHW) supervisor form Kerema that I was not in the flight,” she said.

 “You did not show up so you are very weak and you are not interested in your work,” the text read according to Brigitte. She still has the text in her cell phone.

 The text haunted her. It really made her felt useless, she recalled.

 “My boss failed was so mean that he did not tell me about the schedule. He did not know how much I struggled with my kids to deliver services to the people I serve. I was challenged by my boss’s comments,” she grieved.

 “That was my first time so I thought, missing it would haunt me for the rest of my life besides her boss’s superior and meanness texts,” she said.

 Brigitte told her story of how she fixed her house in order for her kids and packed her things the same day on Saturday afternoon and decided to walk with few cooked kaukaus (sweet potatoes) for the road.

 She stumbled, got bruised and spend the night on a road and arrived in Kerema at 10pm on Sunday.

 Only one person that she communicated with while on the way was her colleague and brother-in-law who somehow misinformed her that the workshop would start at early 7am on Monday, Brigitte smiled shyly.

 So on Monday, she was the first person to arrive at the training place at Kerema Hall but only to find out that the workshop did not start as told but at 8am.

 Despite her struggle to get into town while her colleagues came by plane, she was never given a place in the hotel so she had to find relatives in town to stay with for the week.

 Make matters worse, the poor Brigitte was not given her one week allowance provided by sponsor Oil Search Foundation because her allowances were given to a male colleague who was not at the facility but was learned that he flew with the rest of the team in place of her.


 She said that she did not mind about the allowances and the place she resided but only thing was to be in the workshop facilitated by the National Department of Health and pick up her tool kit and go back.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 5:58 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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