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UAE National Day: Being on Covid frontline is my duty, says doctor

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on December 1, 2020 | Last updated on December 1, 2020 at 12.03 am
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Dr Shamsa said she wasn’t worried about herself as much as she was about her patients and her staff who had to deal with Covid cases almost daily.

NOTE: This report is part of a special National Day series called #HeroesUnmasked. The series pays tribute to the UAE's frontliners: The people who faced the coronavirus head on — no second thoughts, no questions asked — all for the love of the country. Part 1 of a 7-part series.

When Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill, the UAE soldiered on and continued making history. The impossible was made possible, all because there were heroes who gave their all in the service of the Emirates. This National Day, Khaleej Times rolls out a seven-day series to pay tribute to frontliners: The people who faced the coronavirus head on — no second thoughts, no questions asked — all for the love of the country.

When much of the world retreated to the comfort of their homes to curb the spread of Covid-19, Emirati doctor Shamsa Abdulla Ali bin Hammad knew her responsibility had doubled.

Working as a doctor, as well as chief operating officer at Medcare Women and Children Hospital, Dr Shamsa said she wasn’t worried about herself as much as she was about her patients and her staff who had to deal with Covid cases almost daily.

“At that time, Covid was very new and, hence, it scared everyone. As a doctor and as a COO of the hospital, I had to make sure that the patients who walked into our facility were treated well and were well taken care of. But more than that, I also had to make sure that my team of expert doctors felt safe and were given enough personal protective equipment to treat these patients,” said the doctor who works as a family medicine consultant.

“If our doctors feel safe and are healthy, they can treat the patients in a better, calm manner.”

Being on the front lines of the UAE’s battle against Covid-19 was an opportunity to serve her beloved country, she said.

“I became a doctor to serve my nation and the people of my nation. This was the time when my country and people needed me the most and I feel lucky I could be of help,” Dr Shamsa said. “The UAE is one of the nations that has not let the virus go out of hand and I am happy to be a part of this mission and will continue to put in my best.”

Toughest part of the job

Fighting Covid-19 felt like going against an enemy people knew nothing about. This, she said, was the toughest part of her duty.

“We had to make the right choices to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff. Also, because we are a women and children hospital, we had to make sure that our maternity ward was far away from our main ward. We also created separate entrances for people who had symptoms,” Dr Shamsa said.

Being a citizen of the UAE has always been a source of pride for the doctor.

“We are a country that benchmarks tolerance on every level. We respect and love everyone from every religion and race. I want to tell everyone that UAE is not only a safe country but one that promises to protect each and every of its citizens from every hardship that they may face,” Dr Shamsa said.

“I feel proud to call myself an Emirati and this National Day I will spend time with my family, sharing with them stories about the great leaders we have had in the past. I’m proud to be part of a country that has advanced in science and technology and yet has remained firm to its roots.”

saman@khaleejtimes.com





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