NATION

Human Hair Used To Treat Bleeding Patients

Wairuarua Village nurse Alumita Sovisaga has had to use human hair to treat the wounded every time the village dispensary runs out of cotton wool and proper First Aid equipment.
13 Sep 2015 12:31
Human Hair Used To Treat Bleeding Patients
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou, with Wairuarua Village nurse Alumita Sovisaga after the opening of the village dispensary. Photo: Ministry of Youth and Sports

Wairuarua Village nurse Alumita Sovisaga has had to use human hair to treat the wounded every time the village dispensary runs out of cotton wool and proper First Aid equipment.

The 66-year-old woman has been a voluntary village nurse in Wairuarua for more than 20 years. She continues to do it because: “As a village nurse I will make sure to look after my patients well and attend to their medical needs because this is my duty – to save lives.”

Now help is at hand.

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou, was at Wairuarua Village to open the village’s new dispensary, where he presented Ms Sovisaga with a health kit.

Ms Sovisaga recalled: “I am usually known at the Vunidawa Hospital as the only village nurse that uses hair to treat wounded people from bleeding. Every time I send down a wounded patient, when doctors see hair bandage to a wound, they know straight away the patient is from Wairuarua Village.

“Most of the time when I attend to villagers there is usually no cotton wool especially those with big wounds so what I do is that I will ask some people in the village to cut off some of their hair so that I can use it to stop the bleeding.

“When there is no medicine to treat villagers, I will resort to traditional herbal medicine because it’s really hard to go down to the main health centre for medicine.”

She said being a village nurse had been difficult at times because they don’t have access to proper medical facilities and the only means of transport to the village is either on horseback or on a bamboo raft.

“Sometimes, late at night, I have to build my own bamboo raft to travel down river to the Vunidawa Hospital to get medicine for my patients,” she said.

“At times, the bamboo raft is almost breaking apart especially when the water current is strong, but I try my best to stay afloat to get back to the village and attend to my patients.”

Since transport is a major problem, the mother of two said she would advise expecting mothers who were at least seven or eight months pregnant to travel early to Vunidawa because it would make life easier for them and her.

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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