Everyday, I wonder how these exceptional young men and women cope with the work they must do daily: the men and women working at the COVID-19 Isolation Center located inside the Abia State Specialist Hospital & Diagnostic Center, Amachara, Umuahia. They are mostly young, brilliant and exceptionally committed to the work they signed up to from medical and nursing schools.
Hippocrates of Kos will be very proud of them all.
They are exposed to COVID-19 patients daily at great risk to themselves and families. According to the protocol given to them, they must work continuously for weeks without seeing family members, and as many times as necessary, they go into the red zone of the isolation center to give care to the patients. That they wear PPEs is little comfort because the gown and other gears even produce enormous heat to the wearers such that one will be sweating profusely even in an air conditioned room.
They remind me of one young medical doctor I know from Enugu state, McGinger, who, in the heat of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria in 2014, called me to say he wanted to volunteer to be part of the team managing the patients in Lagos. I didn’t know how to discourage him because I was really scared and worried about his safety, but when I considered his determination, I prayed silently for him. He departed for Lagos, made relevant contacts and went ahead to be one of the exceptional frontline medics that helped control the outbreak in Nigeria and other African countries.
Today, young Dr Stanley, Charles, Alozie, Enyinnaya and other medical doctors are volunteers leading the way in the management of COVID-19 patients in Abia State with their senior colleagues: Dr Caroline, Chidi and Ijeoma, as well as wonderful nurses like Chidi, Kelechi, Chinedu, Deborah, Rejoice, Gilbert and Kenny. Other support staff like Bright, Stella and Tochi are also at the frontlines along with the epidemiology team led by Lady Peace who daily rush from location to location collecting samples, analyzing data and tracing contacts all over the state.
Then the calm and hardworking Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, who prefers to do the job and leave the talking for others. Like most true professionals, he is largely media shy and very few persons understand the organization and people skill required to meet the daily challenges posed by this pandemic to those who must do everything possible to protect the rest of us at great risks to themselves.
So far, the team at Amachara has nursed 18 COVID-19 patients back to good health without losing any while their counterparts at FMC Umuahia have also successfully managed two patients who are above 71 years with serious underlying medical conditions back to health.
As you pray in church and at home daily, please remember them in prayers. These are some of the best men and women we have in our state and possibly Nigeria: selfless, devoted and committed to saving others without expecting “thank you” from people.
Shout out to all of you…please keep working hard as God is seeing and in due course will reward you according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
God bless Abia State