|Phan Thị Thuý (left), a retired nurse, is still working at the clinic in Đại Điền Commune, Thạnh Phú District, to support her colleagues as they fight the pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo Chương Đài|
BẾN TRE — Over many months, the southern province of Bến Tre has gradually controlled the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This success must be attributed to the significant contributions of female doctors who put aside their personal lives, step in and are ready to be on the front lines to carry out the great responsibility of caring for and protecting the health of the people.
As the gateway to Ba Tri District, An Ngãi Trung Commune has more than 2,700 households and nearly 10,000 people but only six health workers.
At the peak of the pandemic, the medical staff of the commune’s health centre suffered tremendous pressure.
In the fight from the very first days of the pandemic, Dr Đặng Thị Hoàng Oanh determined that the mission of the grassroots medical staff was to be as close to the people as possible, so she could not stay out.
"The staff was small and we had to do a lot of hard work from disseminating information to the people, giving medical advice to COVID-19 patients, participating in vaccination, testing, screening, and tracing positive cases,” said Oanh.
“With a sense of responsibility, we encouraged each other to do our best for the people's health", said the doctor.
For Trần Thị Hồng Gấm, an officer in charge of population work at the commune health centre, the days of participating in the pandemic fight are unforgettable and without precedent during her ten-year career.
“Most of the medical staff of the health centre are female and have small children, so when the number of new COVID-19 cases was continuously increasing, most of us had to send our children to the relatives so we could stay at the office, tracing and quarantining the infection cases,” said Gấm.
Come rain or shine, the medical staff were always drenched in sweat in protection suits to take samples for testing and quickly track relevant cases when an F0 was detected in the community, Gấm said.
“There were many days that we were so exhausted that we could not eat anything, but everyone tried to overcome it and continue the fight," said Gấm.
As well as on-duty health workers, retired female doctors and nurses also participated in the pandemic fight in the province.
Nurse Phan Thị Thuý, 56, retired in June 2021 but decided to return to assist her colleagues in the health centre of Đại Điền Commune of Thạnh Phú District.
In those moments, she forgot that she was old and needed rest, but instead focused on her responsibility to the people.
She was still passionate about the job when delivering medicines and medical instructions to patients recovering at home, giving advice to patients and taking samples for testing.
Following the spirit of enthusiasm and responsibility of the previous generation, young doctors are also ready to go to the front lines.
Working at Field Hospital No. 1 since the early days of its establishment in July last year, young female pharmacist Trần Thị Hạnh Nguyên from Bến Tre Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital and her colleagues helped many patients to overcome the disease.
Nguyên said that in the early days, she could not avoid being afraid but, after a period of self-soothing, she knew the patients needed her.
Since then, the young pharmacist and her colleagues in the hospital were determined to try their best to fight and regain the patients’ lives.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, medical staff at the field hospital could not and dared not take off their top-to-toe protection suits, because every minute, every second was hope for each patient, Nguyên said.
However, the difficulties and hardships never hindered the will of white-shirted soldiers on their journey to take care of the people's health.
Ngô Văn Tán, director of the Bến Tre Health Department, said that in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the local health sector had activated quick response teams and mobilised the total force with thousands of health workers at all levels.
Regardless of day or night, rain or shine, the health workers concentrated intensely to find, trace and quarantine infected cases as quickly as possible, Tán said.
Hundreds of workers had to stay in quarantined areas to care for and monitor the health of people, he said.
“Together with male colleagues, female doctors and nurses who had to leave their children at home to quickly rush to the front line with the desire to soon control and repel the pandemic,” the director said.
With perseverance and resilience to overcome all work pressure, sacrificing personal happiness for the sake of people's health, the female health workers deserved to be called white shirt soldiers, he added. — VNS