Student Võ Thành Đông checks people’s temperature. — Photo tuoitre.vn
ĐÀ NẴNG — Võ Thành Đông and Nguyễn Thị Hiền started helping with COVID-19 prevention and control work at the Hòa Tiến Commune Medical Station in Đà Nẵng's Hòa Vang District on Sunday.
The third-year students are among 340 students from the Đà Nẵng University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy who volunteered to work at medical stations in the central city to support COVID-19 prevention and control work.
As the gateway of Hòa Vang District with Điện Bàn Town in neighbouring Quảng Nam Province, Hòa Tiến Commune has a large amount of traffic. To implement social distancing, a medical team was assigned there. Whenever a car arrived, Đông and Hiền come to measure their body temperature.
If the people have high body temperature, Đông and Hiền asked if they had been to Đà Nẵng Hospital in July or if they had been to a place a COVID-19 patient had been.
Then they take notes and report to the local health station.
At Hòa Nhơn Commune Medical Station, four other students of the university are supporting eight medical workers. In recent days, the medical workers have been extremely busy as the locality has reported several new cases of COVID-19.
Hòa Nhơn Primary School No 1 set up a quarantine centre for more than 100 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, meaning medical workers must be on duty there.
Nguyễn Thị Điểm, head of the Hòa Nhơn Commune Medical Station, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that during her 30 years of working in the health sector, she has never been as tired as now.
“Thanks to the students’ help, I have several minutes per day to relax,” she said.
Workers of a supervision station have quick lunch on the Bồ Bồ Hill, which is the gateway of Hòa Vang District with Điện Bàn Town in the neighbouring Quảng Nam central province. — Photo tuoitre.vn
Facing the complex outbreak, the Ministry of Health's working groups have set up plans for worst-case scenarios in Đà Nẵng.
To have local forces and support against the pandemic in Đà Nẵng and the central region, the group of associate professor Trần Như Dương, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, organised a training course for lecturers in Đà Nẵng. These people will be the core to train supportive forces throughout the city.
Reviewing anti-pandemic documents while waiting for assignments, third-year student Lê Thị Thảo said before she joined the campaign, she called home to inform her parents in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.
Initially, her parents were against her heading towards the centre of the outbreak.
"But I'm determined to do something meaningful. As a medical student, with my knowledge, this is the time the society needs me the most," she said.
At the end of July, these students were in the middle of an exam. Instead of reading books and revising, the students joined the city’s anti-pandemic struggle.
Third-year pharmacy student Phạm Minh Tâm was one of the first to sign up following a call from the university.
With the experience of participating in the anti-pandemic campaign during social distancing in April, upon hearing the news that all three major hospitals in Đà Nẵng were lockdown, Tâm decided to help out.
Tâm was assigned to Hòa Vang District Medical Centre. Carrying his luggage with two sets of clothes and some personal protective equipment provided by the school, Tâm said that he would stay until the city had controlled the pandemic.
He said he wasn't worried because he believed in the protective equipment and the medical knowledge he had learned.
"I think it is a good opportunity for me to learn and enrich my medical knowledge,” he said.
Lê Thị Thúy, deputy principal of the Đà Nẵng University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy, told Tuổi trẻ that the university management board was very surprised because, after only one day of informing students about the campaign, more than 400 volunteered to join.
“Seeing them burning with enthusiasm, we seem to relive our youth,” she said.
Besides 350 students, the university assigned 10 workers of the testing faculty to support the municipal Centre for Diseases Control.
If the Ministry of Health needed, the university was ready to assign more, she said.
In addition, the university's teaching staff, trained by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, can also participate in retraining medical students in the city when required.
An official of the Đà Nẵng Department of Health said more student volunteers would be assigned to support quarantine centres.
Medical and pharmaceutical students will work at the centre for diseases control and seven district health centres in the area to support epidemiological surveillance and update data. — VNS