GPET star will use prize money to fight worms

GPET Registrar of the Year winner Dr Aileen Traves could have taken a holiday with her $2500 prize or opted for some retail therapy, but instead she will spend the money on something far more personal.

Dr Traves received the award at the GPET Convention in Canberra recently in recognition for her work in the Paediatric Outreach Program in the Aboriginal community of Kowrowa, just outside the northern Queensland town of Kuranda.

The community suffers a high rate of strongyloidiasis, an infestation of the roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis.

“Aside from helping with the Strongyloides tracking program we run up here, I have a personal interest in the subject after being infected with Strongyloides on a home visit in 2008,” she said.

The parasite is most often found in the tropics and subtropics, and eggs are transmitted from the soil, often through cuts on bare feet.

It can produce a range of symptoms including