"I’m Ophelia. I was born in Batangas, the Philippines, but moved to Jordan in 1989 after marrying a Jordanian that I met while working in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. After years of taking care of my eight daughters, I decided to join IOM's mobile medical team in 2012, right after the eruption of the crisis in Syria. Now I work as a Tuberculosis (TB) nurse at a clinic in Aqaba, Jordan.
I give TB patients medical and psychosocial support during their treatment, and my job is very important because it combats the social stigma of diagnosed patients. TB has a negative connotation partially because people associate the medical condition with poverty and bad sanitation.
I mainly take care of the technical tasks within the clinic. I conduct medical screenings, collect sputum samples for testing, diagnose TB and refer all presumptive cases to the TB centers of the Jordan Ministry of Health. I make sure to follow up with patients and support their treatment. Most treatments last around six to nine months, so I help patients take their medications correctly in accordance with the World Health Organization’s recommended Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) strategy.
I remember a Syrian woman back in 2014 whose case I was following in Ma’an, in southern Jordan. She is a widow and has two daughters. It took us a long time to diagnose her. We even took her to several hospitals to find out what was wrong. Finally, we diagnosed her with extra pulmonary TB. I continually checked her treatment and she recovered successfully. She was resettled to Canada with her daughters through IOM, and we are still in touch."