Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Salah Okeel and I am 36 years old. I come from El-Mahalla El-Kobra in Egpyt. I am an Offshore Medical Doctor for Emergency and Medical Services at International SOS.
How long have you been working as a healthcare worker? What made you choose a career in healthcare? Any fears or regrets?
It has been a fulfilling seven years working as a healthcare professional. Helping people and providing care for others is part of the reason I chose healthcare as my profession. I am pleased to say that I don't have any regrets throughout my career, knowing that I'm part of the solution that helps to save lives.
How are you helping fight COVID-19 in your country? How has your work changed since pandemic broke out?
I regularly create awareness on COVID-19 in the area where I live because I believe it can slow the spread of the virus. There has also been no significant change in the way I work. Ensuring the safety of our patients and staff has always been our top priority.
What affects you most in this COVID-19 situation? How are you coping and what keeps you going?
The pandemic can be overwhelming and stressful. There are constant thoughts and worries about how I can psychologically support all the crew on board while keeping them safe from COVID-19. While there are a lot of challenges during these unprecedented times, keeping the isolation facility ready and being prepared has helped me relieve some of the stress and be able to cope with the situation better.
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?
Staying informed, particularly about the latest updates on the outbreak, is one of the strategies that work well for us at our site. We are implementing preventive measures and continuously advising safety precautions to all crew members.
What is your message to people in your country and others, at this time of COVID-19?
My main message for my fellow Africans is to take this matter seriously. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow the preventive measures for COVID-19. Checking in on your family, friends and colleagues during this pandemic is more important than ever.