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“Stay strong, together we can beat COVID-19”

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“Stay strong, together we can beat COVID-19”

— Dr. Gabriel Falaiye, Nigeria
Africa Renewal
From Africa Renewal: 
28 August 2020

Dr. Gabriel Falaiye
Gabriel Falaiye is a medical doctor based in Abuja, Nigeria .
Gabriel Falaiye

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Dr. Gabriel Falaiye. I am 37 years old and I live in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. I am the manager and Chief Medical Officer for a site clinic for International SOS based in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.

What affects me the most is seeing the rising numbers of COVID-19 infections and the suffering involved, imagining what people who have tested positive are going through daily.

How long have you been working as a healthcare worker? What made you choose a career in healthcare? Any fears or regrets?

I’ve worked in the healthcare sector for 10 years now. I chose a career in healthcare because I have a passion for the promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative aspects of healthcare delivery, that meet international best practice and are cost effective.

I want to be able to play my part in making good healthcare available for all. I have no regrets or no fears, there is always satisfaction following every patient cared for.

How are you helping fight COVID-19 in your country? How has your work changed since COVID-19 broke out?

I help in the fight against COVID-19 by first of all showing up at work every single day, regardless of the horrifying news of increasing cases of COVID-19 infections or the related deaths. For someone previously on a rotational duty, now it is work all day, every day since the pandemic hit Nigeria.

In terms of how my work has changed, these days there are several layers of additional precautions, on top of existing standard precautions, that we are taking.

What affects you most in this COVID-19 situation? What keeps you going? How are you coping?

What affects me the most is seeing the rising numbers of COVID-19 infections and the suffering involved, imagining what people who have tested positive are going through daily.

What keeps me going is working with an amazing team of colleagues and being able to derive strength from one another, taking it a day at a time. They have truly helped me cope.

What strategy, in your view, has worked well in this fight and what has not? What should be done to win the war against COVID-19?

Increased testing centres is helping us find more COVID-19 positive cases that we can isolate. These cases would otherwise have spread further in the communities.

Sadly, a lot still needs to be done in Nigeria. With a huge percentage of the population living below the poverty line, many would rather take a chance with COVID-19 than remain at home in hunger. Palliatives in varied forms will go a long way.

In addition to more testing centres, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare workers and citizens will also be key in fighting the pandemic in Nigeria.

What is your message to people in your country, and to fellow Africans in general, at this time of COVID-19?

Stay strong and united. Together we can beat this!

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