Working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been physically and psychologically challenging for the doctors in Kashmir.Â
These doctors are not responsible for only treating the Covid-19 affected patients but for their health as well as their profession makes them vulnerable to contracting the virus. For the doctors who are at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, they must balance their well-being, the well-being of their families and carry out their duties of looking after the Covid-19 patients. The task doesnâ€™t come easy. To prevent themselves from getting infected with the virus, these doctors wear PPE kits and take strict precautionary measures.
While most doctors on Covid-19 duty have to take care of virus-infected patients, some doctors like Dr Kausar Irfan have the additional and more sensitive task of taking care of pregnant women, as this group has been termed as a high-risk group by medical practitioners.
Dr Kausar Irfan, Medical Officer Indian System of Medicine (ISM), currently working at Primary Health Centre (PHC) Brein in Srinagar is a front-line worker offering her medical expertise to treat pregnant women.
Talking about her work, Dr Kausar said that her task is to examine pregnant women who visit the health centre. â€œI provide them with personal assistance,â€ she said.Â
â€œPregnant women need to be extra careful during this pandemic as they are responsible for two lives,â€ she said.
Dr Kausar said that many of these pregnant women have severe complications and â€œfor their ease, I give them my number.â€
â€œI do this because I want to assist them while they can stay home and we will be able to take timely action if something goes wrong,â€ she said.Â
Dr Kausar maintains that while dealing with the pandemic in itself is a challenge for all the health workers in the Valley, taking care of pregnant women is particularly challenging.Â
â€œThis virus is the same for everyone, including pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should take extra care as their body undergoes immunological changes which makes them more prone to the virus,â€ Kausar said.
Stating that pregnant women who contract Covid-19 get mentally disturbed, Dr Kausar believes it is incumbent on the doctors to â€œdo their counselling and get them out of trauma.â€
Amid the ongoing second wave of coronavirus in Kashmir, which has led to a surge in positive cases and hundreds of deaths, two pregnant women recently tested positive for Covid-19 at Brein health centre.
â€œThey have both tested negative now. However, we had to be doubly sure about everything. We conducted all their tests free of cost and we were in contact with them through-out their illness,â€ Kausar said.
Dr Kausar said that pregnant women should frequently check on fetal movements.
â€œFighting this virus is a team effort,â€ she said, adding, â€œNothing is possible without the support and cooperation of the family members and co-workers.â€
Stressing on the importance of cooperation between doctors, health care workers and families of Covid-19 patients, Dr Kausar said, â€œWhile we are putting our families, and our lives at risk, the least people can do is to cooperate with us.â€
Dr Kausar further said that home quarantine has come as a relief for the doctors and the healthcare providers. â€œIt brought us relief as people affected with the virus would find administrative quarantine difficult and arranging for it was also challenging for the healthcare workers. It was quite difficult for everybody on the job,â€ she added.Â