Today as we celebrate May Day, we celebrate our Doctors, Nurses, and Health Care Workers in general who are at the forefront of Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 fight. They are the most appropriate people that need to be celebrated in the midst of the current global pandemic.
Mariama Mabinty Bangura is a young Medical Doctor in Sierra Leone, she also is a member of the Junior Doctors Association. As a young girl she had wanted to be a Medical Doctor. Now a certified medical doctor she tells us about the importance of being a doctor more especially now that there is a war against COVID-19.
“I don’t know why but I knew that’s what I wanted to be. Over the years I have come to realize that there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than helping save lives,” said Dr. Bangura
Dr. Bangura explained that in times like these, putting their lives at risk to help save others was part of the job. Whatever the risks might be, they just need to be cautious to keep themselves protected and safe so they can help save as many lives as possible.
We are celebrating health care workers in recognition of the vital role they are playing in the national health workforce to keep the country safe. Health Care Workers are an important resource to the country but their safety and importance are often neglected. For instance, the country has recorded 136 cases of COVID-19 with 7 deaths as of today 1 May 2020, and of that amount 29 have been confirmed to be healthcare workers who have been infected with the virus.
“This is a war and we are all soldiers, health workers may be at the frontline but we are all in it together. It gets scary sometimes but being brave and putting the needs of patients first are some of the prerequisites of being a doctor so we muster up the courage needed to carry out the job.“
Dr. Bangura added that as doctors they have to provide the necessary care as everyone was prone to be at risk or could fall ill and would be in dire need of their assistance.
The health security of countries and the world at large depends on many factors of which without skilled health professionals to act as the first line of defense, other efforts will be in vain. Healthcare workers should be valued and protected everywhere, with policies adopted to ensure safe and positive work environments.
“After we’ve all played our part in winning the war, we’ll then remember those who selflessly risked their lives at the frontline to treat those who were sick. And we hope against it but if any health workers lose their lives in the process, we ask that they be duly honored and remembered for their sacrifice,” Dr. Bangura.
“We ask that you help us help you by adhering to the prescribed measures; washing of hands, practicing social distance, staying at home when you have no urgent need to go out, etc. Only then can we curb this disease and win the war,” Dr. Bangura finally advised.
This selfless service is just so admirable and worth celebrating.
International Labour Day or May Day is a celebration in honor of the working class and laborers. Mayday began as an international distress call in 1923. It later was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “Mayday” because it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means ‘help me.’