Health workers have played the most important role in fighting the pandemic. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has caused death everywhere, Shagufta has helped several mothers to deliver babies in the past year and a half.
Posted at the Department of Neonatology at Srinagar’s JLNM Hospital, Shagufta has been on COVID duty since the pandemic hit the valley. However, unlike many other frontline activists, her work is one of the most challenging and risky.
Shagufta has to take care of COVID-positive pregnant women and use her medical expertise to ensure that the delivery of the children is well.
Shagufta said, “It is a big test for a mother and it is very difficult for those also who are treating them. It is very difficult for a mother to give birth in these circumstances, but we counsel them, we make them understand that this infection will not affect their babies and that they can give birth to a healthy baby.”
This is undoubtedly not an easy task. One has to make sure that both the mother and the baby are well. However, Shagufta said the most challenging part of her job was to convince mothers that “everything will be alright.”
Shagufta said, “I always tell the patient that they don’t need to panic. I tell them to do breathing exercises that ease their stress. I tell them to take healthy food and drinks which give them lot of help. ”
Shagufta, who has seven years of experience, said that during emergencies they often do not even get the time to wear proper PPE kits to protect themselves. Some mothers have to be run immediately to the operation theater. She even had to pay for this, as her father-in-law and husband got infected by the virus. But she didn’t give up.
Shagufta said, “When I had my first COVID duty, I was scared because I had two small children. I had old parents, but then I felt that Allah had made me for this and now I have dedicated myself. We help the patients with this disease, that’s a pride for us.”
She said, “Our hospital normally has three to four deliveries every day. I think I have helped more than 100 mothers from last year till now. Only COVID-positive patients come to our hospital. COVID-positive pregnant women are admitted to our hospital. ”
“I feel very proud. If we step back, who will do it! It is our good luck that by helping someone, we do our duty well. I will continue to do it.”
She said she thinks only about her patients, not about her family when on duty. Undoubtedly, caring for a patient is the most satisfying thing in life for a health worker.