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Applause rings out in Seychelles for healthcare workers battling COVID-19

Victoria, Seychelles | April 7, 2020, Tuesday @ 22:51 in National » HEALTH | By: Shaorn Ernesta | Views: 5791
Applause rings out in Seychelles for healthcare workers battling COVID-19

The communal applause was also to show support to these professionals amid COVID-19 on national Health Workers Day. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychellois on Tuesday joined the growing global effort to thank healthcare workers for their dedicated efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 sickness. At exactly nine in the morning on Tuesday, people applauded the island nation’s health workers. 

From State House to ministries, companies, businesses and families all joined in to say thank you to health workers for their work during this trying time for the island nation. 

Eleven confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Seychelles, 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. The communal applause was also to show support to these professionals amid COVID-19 on national Health Workers Day and World Health Day commemorated on April 7. 

SNA spoke to a couple of Seychellois health professionals working to contain the pandemic and caring for those infected to give the public an insight into how they are coping.

“We must remain focused on what we have been trained to do and that is to save lives,” Josapha Jouanneau, a medical officer working with the three quarantine centres on the main island of Mahe, told SNA. 

Jouanneau, who has been working for more than a month now with no days off, said that despite the pandemic, which is something he never anticipated to face in his lifetime, he is committed to preserving lives.

SNA spoke to a couple of Seychellois health professionals working to contain the pandemic and caring for those infected to give the public an insight into how they are coping(Rassin, Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: All Rights reserved

The doctor added that the medical team in Seychelles is strong and united at this difficult time. “Since the beginning, we have been given refreshers plus training for instance on how to wear our protective clothing, including our mask, glove etc. This, in the war against COVID-19, is one of the most essential components. You can see in the world that many health workers are being affected and one reason for this is the fact that they do not have enough personal protective clothing and equipment even in countries more developed than us,” said Jouanneau.

The medical officer noted that “luckily here there are enough of these protective gears for the health caregivers and keeping them safe from being infected.”

Sylvie Sinon, a nurse, has been working with the quarantine centre at the Anse Royale since the end of February but has since moved to the Perseverance Isolation Centre. Sinon explained that after the confirmation of the first case she was very anxious but by wearing protective gears and abiding by the strict measures at the facility has given her the confidence to care for the patients.

“The precautions that we take we try our best to minimize contacts with patients, and to protect ourselves from being infected. For instance, after each round when we do our observations, we discard our protective gears, shower and wear fresh clothes. This procedure is repeated up to four times during our shift,” said Sinon.

Sinon explained that normally per shift there are eight staff working but in the morning when doctors make the rounds there can be up to ten staff. Both medical staff shared their happiness with SNA, as two patients who tested positive are now negative.

Eleven confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Seychelles, 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. (Rassin, Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: All Rights reserved

“Last Friday was an exceptional day, our patient on the ventilator could breathe on his own and he immediately started to talk. We also got negative tests for patients previously tested positive. The emotion one gets when you know as a caregiver who has contributed to these successes is pure job satisfaction, I do not need anything more than that,” an elated Sinon said.

Jouanneau added these results comforts them as caregivers as they are doing what they are supposed to do. “We are encouraged by this especially when we do not work alone but as a team and with support of other staff such as drivers. We feed on these encouragements and energy which will make us go a long way, make us more solid to continue with our work,” added the doctor.

Nathasia Julienne, though not working at the isolation or quarantine centres, said that prevention is crucial for health workers. “At casualty, we screen all incoming patients even emergencies but depending on the type of emergencies.  For instance, patients showing symptoms such as breathing difficulties are given priority and are isolated from other patients,” said the nurse. 

“As health workers we have taken an oath, even if I have loved ones, I cannot stand aside I have to go to work to save you. On the other hand, you must stay at home, to protect me,” said Jouanneau, adding that his country has vested in his education and today it is his way of giving back to Seychelles and its people.

‘It is not easy for us. We have to be mentally strong but as a team, with devotion and courage we will succeed,” Julienne concluded.

Sinon explained that after the confirmation of the first case she was very anxious but by wearing protective gears and abiding by the strict measures at the facility has given her the confidence to care for the patients. (Rassin, Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: All Rights reserved

The health professionals are also asking that respect and recognition are given to the many staff working behind the scene and but more importantly to those directly on the forefront. Some have even left their home and are based at the quarantine centre on a full-time basis.

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Tags: COVID-19, World Health Organization, World Health Day, National Health Workers Day

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