This is our support service at the HIV/AIDS Clinic at Ipoh General Hospital. Since this is during office hours, not all our volunteers are able to volunteer for this service - only those with flexi working hours.
3 teams, comprising 2 or 3 Buddies per team, take turns to attend the HIV clinic every first and third Wednesdays of each month. The Clinic starts at 10 am and ends at 1 pm. Patients are referred to us at the Clinic by the hospital doctors/nurses on duty.
Upon meeting the patient, first we give them a preliminary introduction of ourselves and the services we provide. We then engage the patient in dialogue and try to assess the extent of their need. At this early stage, emotional support is of utmost importance. Trust is established by the assurance of confidentiality.
Our main goal is to pair the patient with the most appropriate Buddy to become a friend so that long-term support is possible. The patient is then enlisted as a client. If, for any reason, the patients declines our support service, a Buddies brochure with our contact number will be given in case they change their minds later.
In any case, we ensure that every patient we meet at the Clinic is equipped with at least some basic knowledge regarding their illness.