As a final year medical student from the University of Melbourne I was fortunate to travel back to Klibur Domin over November and December 2012. Much had changed over five years from my previous short trip as a physiotherapist in 2007/2008. The services had grown including the important Multi Drug Resistant TB program and many improved facilities for patients and staff. An important constant was the staff at Klibur Domin who greeted me again with welcoming smiles.
During the short time at Klibur Domin I conducted a research project examining the effects of drug side effects of TB treatment drug compliance. It is common to develop side effects of drug therapy due to the multiple and long term therapies required to treat TB. In the setting of the emerging threat of multi drug resistance TB, drug compliance is an increasing priority as failure to adequately treat TB leads to resistant strains.
I had the support of local staff to conduct interviews of both inpatients receiving intensive therapy and patients in the community receiving continuation phase therapy. It was a great learning experience as I encountered cultural issues around interviewing patients to perform the study. The results have been reported to the Klibur Domin staff and if you are interested to learn more please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to my research I spent time assisting local staff in rehabilitation programs. Local community based rehabilitation staff Rosario and Carlos should be commended on the way in which the program has developed, in particular their success in assisting children to attend school.
I look forward to a future visit to Klibur Domin in the middle of this year when I complete my medical student elective at the national hospital in Dili.