Monday, May 11, 2020

Pinoy Mediko sa UAE: Saludo kami sa inyo!

Thousands of UAE residents continue to support the country’s frontline health workers who the government’s against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

This comes as no less than His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai expressed his words of gratitude for the country’s healthcare sector who has worked nonstop to fight the virus.

“I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers in hospitals – you are our champions today. Our first line of defense. You are fulfilling a great national duty of saving the lives of our citizens and residents,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.


Heartwarming thoughts

“Ernie”, not his real name, who works as a staff nurse at one of the medical facilities that house the country’s COVID-19 patients, shared that when he heard of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s salute for frontline workers, he felt that sincere gratitude. He said the words were backed up by the swift action from the government since the beginning as they had always been provided with everything they need.

“Nakakataba ng puso na may malasakit ang ating pinuno sa aming mga frontliners dahil kita namin ang pagpupursigi ng gobyernong ito para masugpo ang COVID-19 habang isinasa-alang-alang ang aming kaligtasan at kapakanan,” said Ernie.

He then revealed that the UAE government had alerted all medical professionals since the moment the virus began to spread in China. “Sapul nung magsimula ang epidemic sa China, nagt-train na sila ng proper usage ng PPE, at pinahigpit ang paghahandwash,” said Ernie.

Emotional struggles

However, even as these medical professionals nurse UAE residents to full recovery, they also face challenges as they think of their families and loved ones back home who constantly worry about them
being in the front lines of this pandemic.

“Bea”, who works at another medical facility that treats suspected cases of COVID-19, shares that she was scared due to the stigma of COVID-19 as a disease that spreads quickly, but she was relieved
when she saw the action taken by the UAE government to protect their lives.

“Sa simula, talagang nakakatakot kasi madaming suspected na cases kaming natatanggap. Pero dahil ready ang UAE, nakapagbigay sila ng kumpletong personal protective equipment at muli kaming tinuruan sa tamang paggamit ng mga right PPE – kaya naging kalmado at kampante na kami,” shares Bea.


“Every time I receive a message from my family, friends and patients I can’t help but get emotional, naiiyak talaga ako because I can feel their worries and concerns. Sana huwag na lang daw sana ako tumingin sa mga suspected cases of COVID-19,” shares Dr. Aileen Villanueva who’s currently among the doctors at NMC Specialty’s “Fever Clinic” since late February.

However, she stands firm with her oath of duty to help cure the sick to the best of their abilities, along with the UAE’s support along the way. “Hindi ko pwede talikuran ang aking sinumpaan bilang isang manggagamot. They are offering prayers for me and for all the healthcare professionals, at ang kanilang mga dasal ay ang proteksyon namin para sa pandemic na ito,” said Villanueva.

Safety measures in place

Samuel Magsombol, a Radiologic Technologist who currently works in the UAE’s newly-established drive-thru COVID-19 testing system at Zayed Sports City, shared that they have undergone several seminars and preparations to streamline their services.


“Yung preparations namin, actually last month pa I think first week of February. Nagkaroon kami ng Radiology Web Seminar for COVID-19 para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng virus, tapos lagi kaming gumagamit ng mga personal protective equipment gaya ng gowns, face mask, gloves kasama na ang proper handwashing
at social distancing,” said Magsombol.

‘Please stay home for us’

Magsombol furthered that while they were initially alarmed with the spike of cases around the world, the government’s call for the public to remain indoors contributes greatly to avoid the spread of
the virus.

“Mas nakakabuti sa publiko na manatili na lamang sa bahay kung hindi importante ang lakad. Iwasan ang pagtitipon at gumamit na lang ng conference calls through social media apps,” said Magsombol.

Ernie, for his part, hopes that those who do experience symptoms would come forward so that they get properly tested.

“Kung may sintomas na ay magpatingin na kaagad, at huwag din ideny ang mga travel history,” suggested Ernie.

Dr. Villanueva agrees with the UAE government’s drive for social distancing as it has a significant impact to avoid the spread of the disease.

“Ang pinakamalaking tulong sa amin ng publiko ay ang manatili kayo sa Inyong mga tahanan para maiwasan ang pag dami ng naapektuhan ng virus na pwede magpasalin salin sa bawat isa.”

‘Maraming salamat, UAE’

Bea said that she’s very thankful for the authorities that are working closely with their hospital that treats suspected patients as they are provided with all the assistance they need 24/7.

“Maraming salamat at kitang-kita namin dito sa front lines na na-a-appreciate nila ang sakripisyo na ginagawa namin. Maraming salamat din po sa pag poprovide ng mga kinakailangan namin para maprotektahan kami tulad ng kumpletong PPE,” shares Bea.

Dr. Villanueva also thanked the UAE government for their continuous support and sincere care for medical professionals and hopes that this fight against the coronavirus ends soon.

“It is validating and meaningful to hear that we’re doing something great, at pag naaapreciate tayo mas lalo tayo nagkakaroon ng lakas araw araw para gawin ang ating mga responsibilidad kung ano man ang ating mga profession. Para Kay His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid – thank you for the appreciation, we feel valued and it means a lot coming from you,” said Dr. Villanueva.

Magsombol affirmed that as part of the frontliners in the country’s drive-thru facility, they will continue to monitor and keep track of the ongoing tests to ensure the safety of all citizens: “We really appreciate His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s message for all of us as healthcare professionals. We will continue to fight this virus no turning back. We fight as one we heal as one.”

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