The Role of Medical Workers in Fighting Covid-19 in Indonesia             


(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Deisha Laksmitha Ayomi, a medical doctor at Airlangga University in Indonesia She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

In Indonesia, the case fatality rate reaches 9% with an infected number  around 790 people and 58 death . People ages 50 and above are far more vulnerable due to weaker host immune, but lately two Indonesian medical workers under ages 50 died and some young people were required to be hospitalized and even used ventilators.                Everyday I work as a medical doctor in a public health hospital.

Every time I return home from the hospital, there is always a feeling of anxiety. I’m afraid that I could be a silent transmitters for the people around me especially my parents. I clean all my stuffs, starting from clothes, cellphones, etc.

Even when I return home, I minimize contact with my parents, because they are  above ages 50 who are in a high-risk group. Most of my family are doctors. It’s sad, when we couldn’t be free to talk, eat together, exchange ideas together like what we did before. Now, I have to sleep in a separate room. I feel that if my parents are sick, I will be the one who  are responsible because I may be a  transmitter of the virus to my parents. Since the corona virus became a pandemic, my life began to change.

Indonesia is a developing country where funding budgets are limited , so we are lack of the availability of personal protective equipments. When we interact with patients, we bring our own masks from home. We are required to deal with patients with all the limitations so that makes us one of the high-risk groups for being infected by the corona virus. Not all patients and medical workers could be tested because the availability of tests is limited. So, we have to be careful and prevent transmission starting from ourselves.

Not to mention the covid-19 associated stigma, that we, medical workers spread the corona virus in our residence, so there are several incidents in Indonesia when medical workers are kicked out of their homes because people around them are afraid of being infected.

There are so many problems that we have to face as medical workers. But I believe, when we focus on the problems, we will find the solutions. As a medical doctor, In every opportunity, I always try to spread awareness about the importance of clean and healthy behaviors. Even we are still in young age, we can’t be selfish.

Indeed, due to our immune system, we have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all when we are exposed to corona virus. However, the elderly members with comorbidities will have worse impact. Now, charities have begun to be held for providing personal protective equipments, and the government has begun to order rapid tests for epidemiology study, so we know what is the most effective way we will take.

The struggle is not over, the battle has only just begun, but our enthusiasm will never be extinguished.

About the author

Deisha Laksmitha Ayomi, medical doctor at Airlangga University in Indonesia. Affilliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). I had internship in Anesthesiology departement in Kuopio, Finland.

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