Lives on the line? The tale of healthcare workers in far-flung areas, Kiphire

Lives on the line? The tale of healthcare workers in far-flung areas, Kiphire
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/24/2020 10:25:28 AM IST

 Top left: CHO of HWC Anatongre, Viseno Dolie, examining a patient; ANM Chomi, Vesutolu Rhakho, with the mother and newly born baby; CHO of HWC Phelunger, Shijungsangla, treating a patient.

Kiphire, May 16: Covid-19 pandemic has raised pressing medical, ethical, and organisational challenges. These include priority setting, triaging of patients, allocation of scarce resources, and restricting individual liberty in the interests of public health. 
Though Nagaland has been protected from the infection until now, the state has been gearing up every machinery to prevent the onset and also to tackle if the worst happens. All the districts have been put on toes with the medical department, district administration, and police establishment on the forefront.
In the face of Covid-19 pandemic, here are some tales of healthcare workers working in various Health & Wellness Centres (HWC), Kiphire. These healthcare workers in far-flung areas have had to adapt to roles that they did not train for to achieve desirable clinical outcomes on their patients.
“It is for the love of my people as well as my commitment towards the duty,” said Supongsungla, a nurse at HWC Kisetong, when queried about the reason that made her perform duties everyday; while, CHO of HWC Purrur, I Lolenyangla divulged, “It’s my love and sympathy that makes me perform my duty every day.” 
Meanwhile, Vesutolu Rhakho, an ANM nurse at HWC Chomi, maintained, it is her pleasure to carry out her assigned duties while delivering services to the best of her ability.” She wants to share her happy moment too: “The institutional delivery took place at HWC Chomi on April 29 which was successful without any difficulties. The mother and newly born baby are in good conditions; besides, the mother and the family members were ecstatic as they were wishing for a baby girl.”
Stating this kind of event inspired health worker like her to continue serving despite all odds, Rhakho said though she is serving in one of the remotest parts of the state bordering Myanmar, wherein, she could hardly find a vehicle for hiring, she maintained, ‘I’m finding pleasure in travelling by motorbike to perform my duties despite poor road condition’.
Asked about the cooperation of public, the health workers were keen to acknowledge the village councils and the public of their respective villages. CHO of HWC Anatongre, Viseno Dolie, revealed that public has been very cooperative. “Having learnt about the danger of Covid-19, the public are cooperating by maintaining social distance, staying at home, maintaining hand washing technique, and increasing use of mask,” she said.
The health workers assured with the public’s cooperation they are motivated to overcome the pandemic. With the underlying mission, healthcare workers have allianced with their village councils and set up village quarantine centres in the villages, including purchasing of some first aid emergency medicines through VDB fund to deal with the pandemic.
Backing the healthcare workers, Village Health Committee Chairman of Purrur, Asokhiung reported that the staff of HWC Purrur, under the guidance of CHO, Lolenyangla has been functioning to the best of their ability. “We the public are cooperating with them and we are working hand in hand to prevent the worst,” the chairman stated, while adding that the village has already set up quarantine facility. 
Meanwhile, Village Council Chairman of Kisetong, Liphunki conveyed that the public of Kisetong are giving their best to obey the guidelines and directives given by the healthcare workers and they are assisting them in the best way possible. He lauded the selfless work of the health workers stating they are visiting even house to house treating patients with rhinorrhea, fever, and other mild illnesses.
All in all, health workers continue to be a ray of hope by improvising with whatever means and resources available at their disposable. Supongsungla was at the right side of optimism while stating, ‘problems will continue to exist till the pandemic is over, adjusting with whatever is available in the HWC’.
These health workers have humanity as their prized-possession, whatever the circumstances. CHO of HWC Phelunger, Shijungsangla stated, “Do everything with a good heart and expect nothing in return and you will never be disappointed.” She also credits her mom for teaching her the virtue of being a missionary rather than just fulfilling the duty.
It must be noted that these healthcare workers are caught in the middle of the pandemic. First, they need to look after the patients who come for treatment as it is what their profession calls for. However—how hard they try to cure their patients—they love themselves too and equally their families, wherein, they don’t want to be vectors of contagion to them.
Nonetheless, their compassion for patients and their integrity as healthcare workers live on and they are ready to go the distance. 
(Haichikambe Pame), District Media Officer, CMO Office, Kiphire: Nagaland

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