Doctors in Syria share the challenges facing the “heroes” of the current stage in dealing with the Corona pandemic, with Doctors of the World. Although the situation of the Syrian health sector appears to be “under control” until now, the concern about the injury is the greatest concern for doctors in hospitals, isolation centers, and quarantine, and this is sometimes due to the lack of necessary protective equipment, in addition to the long hours of work spent by some of them. In providing medical services, even by default
The role of doctors in most Syrian hospitals has become uniform – to some extent, especially after the specialized clinics have been closed and only the ambulance departments have been left, along with the isolation wards spread in all governorates. Doctor Ali Nasr Abdullah (a doctor in the ambulance and isolation department within the Al-Mujtahid Hospital in Damascus) explains that their work is limited to diagnosing suspected cases of Coronavirus, referring them to the isolation department and sending the smears to the Ministry of Health for the analysis thereof. In a later stage, “cases that prove her infection are treated according to treatment protocols.” The cardiovascular physician had trained with several doctors on the tasks and mechanisms of work to be among the geographically dispersed isolation teams in the first grades of the epidemic.
The challenges facing Dr. Abdullah, as an individual in the isolation team in the capital – which has witnessed and its countryside, most cases of HIV infection so far, except for an infection recorded in Daraa – are exemplified by the lack of protection tools that the medical staff needs to prevent itself from infection, largely due to sanctions. Imposed on Syria, which affected the health sector and affected it negatively.
Abdullah said in his interview with Al-Akhbar: “The seriousness of the issue concerning the medical staff relates to the ability of the patient to transmit the infection, even with no symptoms, and therefore we need to work with caution, and use all available protection methods (masks – glasses – gloves) And follow the necessary sterilization and disinfection methods, ”explaining that there is a lack of implementation of these procedures within hospitals.
The anxiety that accompanies doctors in dealing with patients infected with the virus or even suspects, with insufficient information about the virus, is a necessary concern in the opinion of doctor Abdullah, who says: «We do not deny our feeling of fear for ourselves from infection or its transmission to our family, and we follow the news Doctors and their HIV infections in all countries of the world and we expect at any moment that we will be a new number in the record of infections ».
Other challenges facing doctors in the current period, which are identified by doctor Ghaith Husam Al-Din Ali (a plastic and reconstructive surgery doctor at the Syrian Red Crescent Hospital), and that is represented by the problem of moving to and from the hospital in light of the urban blocking procedures, and the difficulty of housing or resting within hospitals because of the high possibility of transmission of the disease to The medical staff, especially with the lack of tools and complete protection clothing in general.
The stone centers are ready
The reality is different in hospitals outside the capital, as no positive results were announced for the cases that are examined until now, except in Daraa, yet centers for stone and isolation were prepared in anticipation of any future consequences. Month to receive suspected cases of infection with the Coronavirus, and cases that need to be quarantined after contact with those coming from infected areas.
The head of the isolation hospital in Al-Haffah Hospital, Doctor Nizar Younis, notes that the work is well organized and protective clothing is fully available from the headgear and N95 masks, Eyeglasses, suits, etc., in addition to the frequent sterilization necessary for people and places, considering that «fear accompanied the workers at the beginning, but gradually evaporated with the preventive measures followed», he said.
As for the Al-Hajar Center in Homs Governorate, it receives people who cross the border illegally, where they are quarantined and monitored for 14 days and then expelled if their test results are negative, and so far there are no injuries. The most important challenges facing the medical staff at the center, according to Ghassan Tannous, director of the hospital and center of the stone, are to persuade people to enter the stone because of their lack of awareness (and the awareness surrounding them) of the necessity of this procedure, in addition to the lack of psychological readiness among some of the workers in the center from the medical and service sector The nature and repercussions of this work. As for the availability of protective equipment and medicines, they are abundant and local in industry.