By Mushtaq Bhat
ANANTNAG, May, 29 : As elsewhere in the country, thousands of doctors and paramedics in J&K, have been braving odds in their fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic since it hit the country in March last year (2020). Shabina Kouser, 31, a Female Multi-Purpose Health Worker (FMPHW), presently posted at PHC Achabal, is one among them and has served in multiple assignments on treatment, isolation and vaccination fronts.
When the Pandemic started, Shabina was posted in the Genealogical ward of Civil Hospital Pahalgam where she assisted in more than 30 deliveries for about six (06) months. Although the District Administration Anantnag dedicated a separate healthcare set up for the Covid Positive pregnant ladies at Trauma Hospital Bijbihara, yet working in any hospital set up poses great risks to the doctors and paramedics. Thus, her job was challenging in such times of uncertainty but gradually she put her heart and soul into it.
“My family was scared and anxious, so I used to put up at Pahalgam only and return home after one (01) month. However, I kept motivating myself and with time my family too was relaxed which boosted my confidence,” says Shabina.
In October last year, Shabina was transferred to PHC Achabal and was given the job of Surveillance of the Covid Patients, distributing the Covid kits and monitoring positives in home isolation and she attended many patients.
Then, after the launch of the Vaccination programme in January this year, she was assigned the job of vaccinator both at the Hospital and in the field. She has vaccinated near about 8000 persons including paramedics, MPFHWs, ASHAs, AWWs and other frontline workers so far and she repeats the job everyday even on Sundays and other public holidays.
“I come in direct contact with the people but the desire to serve people besides the urge for our collective good keeps my spirits high in this relentless fight against the pandemic,” she remarks.
A resident of Dialgam, Shabina has her father and mother, both sustaining co-morbidities at home besides four (04 ) siblings.
She needs to sanitize herself before leaving the duty place and again while entering her home and always sports the suffocating but necessary Protective Gear (PPE) besides taking other extra precautions so that none of her family members contracts the deadly virus.
“I take a bath, change my clothes and confine myself to a separate room for one to two hours before mixing up with the family.
“Every day is a constant marathon but I keep telling myself that some day we will overcome this pandemic,” says Shabina, expressing resilience and hope.
Shabina adds that her life now remains confined to her services and she wants to vaccinate maximum people to ged rid of this disease.
She did her training in the Female Multi-Purpose Health Worker programme and joined the Health Department 10 years ago.
Despite working in constant bio threat zones, healthcare workers like Shabina are doing commendable job and showing remarkable grit and professional dedication during this pandemic.