Douala: Struggle, fear and heartbreak for medical staff on coronavirus frontline 0

Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have become the unwitting heroes of the coronavirus pandemic, winning applause from balconies and streets around the world. They are dealing with a huge influx of patients, while also facing a lack of equipment in many cases and the fear of becoming infected themselves. Often, they face heartbreaking decisions while treating their patients.

Let’s take a look at Dr Roger Etoa’s experience in Douala:

Roger Etoa, a doctor in Cameroon, one of the worst-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, admits that fear of catching the disease also affects healthcare workers.

“I live with my wife and children,” the 36-year-old said. “When I arrive in the evening I rush to the shower, but it is difficult to stop the children from jumping on you.”

Etoa is the director of a healthcare centre in Douala, the commercial capital of Cameroon.

As a precaution, he’s started taking chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria.

We don’t yet know if it works preventively or even curatively, but I prefer (to take it) just in case,” he said.

Early studies have shown that chloroquine, may be effective in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, though more evidence is needed.

“We are afraid, like the rest of the population. Afraid that our masks or suits are not fitted properly when we are dealing with a patient who is showing symptoms,” the doctor said.

“We’re obviously afraid of catching it. When you get up in the morning and you have a bit of a headache, you ask yourself, ‘What if this is it? What if it’s our turn to get the virus?'”

Culled from