Name of health worker: Nakibuule Fausta
Masaka Regional Referral Hospital
A health worker going out of her way to help a patient in the COVID-19 isolation unit.
As a health worker, there was this fear of contracting COVID-19 yet I had to serve, even with no allowances given while also being attacked from every side.
Friends who saw me working with the COVID-19 patients discouraged me, claiming that I was risking my life for nothing much, that my family was going to lose me once I got the disease.
When protective gears are not enough, as a health worker you tend to limit care to patients for fear of contracting the disease and a patient might die of other health conditions which could be manageable than COVID-19. Our ability to give holistic care is hindered we are; having limited knowledge on how to handle these patients, handling the patients alone because of lack of teamwork, no appreciation from the government for the health workers who stand for 24hours a day to ensure that the patients are catered for. This hinders our ability to give holistic care.
While dealing with the COVID-19 patients, he or she thinks that they are going to die, is depressed and feels abandoned in a place with no relatives. They felt that they were brought in like prisoners. As they came in, these COVID-19 patients raised an issue of not letting them prepare well before being brought to the isolation unit. They thought about their homes, children constantly and some, worried about the loans they left behind. Some were the breadwinners of their families.
At one point, I had to go to a client’s home when she claimed that she hadn’t carried anything with her, to collect some personal items for her. I also had to make efforts to talk to loan agents to excuse her from paying her loan as required for the period she was going to spend at the COVID-19 treatment centre.
There is a need for the Government to look for and provide quick testing kits to reduce on the costs incurred while the suspects and confirmed cases are waiting for proper guidelines for the management of COVID-19. This delay in getting testing results to suspects and confirmed cases puts everyone on tension in fear of having contracted the disease including the health worker who has handled a suspected case.