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 A Smile, Simple Thank You Keeps Me Going, Says Health Volunteer

“I continued volunteering with youth groups when needed, but fol­lowing the second phase of the pan­demic, I joined the medical team during vaccination drives, contact tracing and now with screening clinics,”
21 Jul 2021 14:26
 A Smile, Simple Thank You Keeps Me Going, Says Health Volunteer
Volunteer frontliner Rakesh Kumar (left) collects data for records from the medical team at the screening clinic in Pacific Harbour on July 20, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Dressed in a green personnel protective suit and stand­ing alongside frontline COVID-19 warriors one would eas­ily mistake 46-year-old Rakesh Ku­mar for a doctor or a trained medi­cal personnel.

Mr Kumar who worked at a rental car company, lost his job last year, during the first wave of COVID-19. He is now a full time volunteer with the Navua Hospital medical field team.

“I worked as a record keeper at Na­vua Health Centre and later in the new hospital from 2011 to 2015 and always had a passion to assist peo­ple in need,” said Mr Kumar.

He said after losing his full-time job he continued to work with youths and a womens soccer team as he was a qualified level three soc­cer referee.

“I continued volunteering with youth groups when needed, but fol­lowing the second phase of the pan­demic, I joined the medical team during vaccination drives, contact tracing and now with screening clinics,” he said.

He said, despite the great risk, he was happy to be part of the strong frontline COVID-19 warriors and was happy to play his part accord­ingly.

He offered his service voluntarily and was not getting paid for it.

Mr Kumar said, since he was not a medical professional, he only as­sisted with record keeping of tests, swabs and vaccination registration while the medical team was out in the field.

“Eventhough people might not know who I am from behind the facemask and shield their smiles and appreciative nodding gestures and a simple thank you was enough for me to continue the next day,” he said.

Seeing firsthand how hard and the long hours frontliners put in, to meet the demand for medical assis­tance motivates him, he said.

“I am lucky that I am able to re­turn home to my wife and daughter every night but for those frontlin­ers at quarantine centres, a phone call is all they have”.

Mr Kumar is requesting all Fiji­ans to vaccinate and follow all COV­ID-19 safety measures at all times.

Feedback: ronaldk@fijisun.com.fj

 



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