Analysis

Our Medics Tell, ‘Don’t Let Our Sacrifices Go In Vain’

The sacrifices of our frontline staff cannot go unnoticed. It is crucial that all Fijians play their part in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
17 Jun 2021 19:30
Our Medics Tell, ‘Don’t Let Our Sacrifices Go In Vain’
Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) frontline staff nurses (from left) Meresiana Katonivere, Mehnaz Nisha, Kartika Naidu, Frances Talei and Jotishma Mani are part of the brave team of health staff accommodated onboard the Captain Cook Cruises’ Reef Endeavour berthed at Port of Suva’s Princess Wharf on June 15, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

The plea from our health frontliners is quite simple – don’t let our sacrifices during this pandemic go in vain.

Why?

Long work hours, fatigue and time away from family are some of the sacrifices made by our frontline staff and this has all taken its toll on their health and mental health.

However, the urge to carry on and serve the people that they have taken an oath to protect continues in these trying times.

The sacrifices of our frontline staff cannot go unnoticed. It is crucial that all Fijians play their part in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong in his nationwide announcement on Monday said healthcare workers were overworked and tired but they continue to hold the fort so that Fijians are well treated and looked after during this pandemic.

“What is happening in Fiji is also happening in other countries. The battle is hard and people, especially frontliners do get tired during this pandemic,” he said.

Here’s what some of our brave frontliners have to say about their experiences so far:

 

Staff Nurse Jotishna Mani, 27

It has been 34 days since Jotishna Mani last saw her parents after leaving them behind in Labasa to join a team of health personnel to work in the Lautoka Field Hospital.

The  staff nurse of the Labasa Hospital Emergency Department is part of the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) that is based at the Vodafone Arena.

Ms Mani said their experience amid this pandemic was beyond what they had expected.

“We have to work long hours and workloads can be so tiring but through teamwork and the whole FEMAT support we are managing and we are holding the fort,” she said.

“This pandemic has been very hard on all of us and the sacrifices have been beyond what we expected. I had to leave my parents at home to come and join FEMAT.”

She said during difficult times like these she was always reminded of why she had joined the nursing profession in the first place.

“I have always been passionate about saving lives and helping people.”

She said FEMAT was the most amazing experience in her nursing career so far and she considered it an honour to work with people from all Ministries during this pandemic.

“My advice to the public is to wear masks, sanitize your hands, maintain two meter social distance, to stay home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary gatherings.”

 

Staff Nurse Mehnaz Nisha, 37

Staff Nurse Mehnaz Nisha, had to leave her mother alone at home so that she is able to respond to the call of duty during this pandemic.

Like all other frontline staff, Ms Nisha had to make endless sacrifices to ensure that the engine room of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is not affected as COVID case numbers surge in the country.

She is a post anesthesthetic recovery nurse and is part of the FEMAT team that are operating from the field hospital currently based at the Vodafone Arena.

“I am doing my part to save lives, please do yours. My advice to the public is to wear masks, sanitize your hands, and maintain social distancing. I have the privilege of being part of team FEMAT and they are part of the many hardworking health teams that are doing their part in keeping you safe.”

 

Staff Nurse Leba Baleikanacea, 34

Leba Baleikanacea had to leave behind her five children and husband to join the FEMAT team in Lautoka more than a month ago.

She left her Labasa home during Mother’s Day this year and was not able to celebrate it with her children.

For Ms Baleikanacea, the longer this virus continues to transmit, the longer she would be away from her children.

That is the sacrifice she is willing to make in this war against COVID-19.

“Help us. Stay home, follow social distancing and keep washing your hands.”

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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