SRINAGAR — For Dr Sadaqat Rehman, the mother of a lone child, treating patients is something beyond the profession. She has dedicated herself to treat COVID-19 patients of Kashmir.
Sadaqat, 56, is not alone; many like her share similar thoughts and have the same mission. KNO spoke to some of the female medicos who work on the frontline to treat the COVID-19 affected persons.
Sadaqat is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences Kashmir who began her career in 1997. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kashmir in March 2020, she has kept her life at stake by treating the virus-infected individuals nonstop.
For Sadaqat, humanity is more than being a doctor first. “Since March 2020, the workplace has become my home as we did not get time to go back to home. I think this is more important than anything else,” she says.
Wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), Dr Sadaqat says treating COVID-19 patients gives her solace.
Shabeena Rehmat, a nurse at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Soura, says that over the last few months, she has been posted in different departments like Psychiatry department at JVC Bemina, Pediatric department at SKIMS, Oncology, as well as in Intensive Critical Units, and all this while, she and her other colleagues have been under constant exposure to COVID-19.
“At times, it gets difficult to go home after being in COVID-19 wards. We don’t want to jeopardize the health of our families too,” Rehmat says. “For us, the hospital is our home and patients our family.”
Rehmat says that long working hours, incessant exposure to COVID-19 and other infections and a disturbed social life could not divert her from the path she has chosen as her career. “Nurses are frontline workers and have equal contribution in fighting against the pandemic.”
Administering medication, catering to severely sick patients and exhaustive nights are parts of Rehmat’s daily routine. “We can’t afford to be exhausted and that has even never been an impediment in the four years of my career.”
A senior doctor Talat Jabeen says, “Although having our and our families’ health at stake, doctors have never shown their back as we chose this profession for a reason to serving humanity.”
“This is an essential service and it is a part of our profession to deal with the COVID-19 patients. Whosoever is in the frontline in dealing with the COVID-19 has to face some problems to save the community,” she said.
Talat said, “Doctor’s lives are at risk when handling the COVID-19 positive patients. However, proper measures are taken by them to protect themselves and to save the patients as well.”
She also said that the department is also ensuring that no pregnant doctor is given COVID-19 duty as such women are more vulnerable to infection.