We make available the newsletter Contigo May 2020, so you can read it in full. Don’t miss it! Read full newsletter Contigo May 2020
We leave you an interview, which is part of March 2020 Newsletter, with a Sister Hospitaller since 1988, Georgina Donzing holds a degree in Nursing from the University of Ghana. She also studied teaching for vocational training in Rome (Italy) and speaks four languages: English, Italian, Spanish, and Twi, her native tongue. Her Hospitaller career has been based primarily in Africa. She is currently the managing director of the Sisters Hospitallers’ St. Francis Xavier Hospital in Assin Foso (Ghana).
How do you feel and how are you coping with the COVID-19 pandemic?
I feel good, hopeful. I know that God will answer our prayers for a vaccine or medication to be discovered soon.
My life and my routine have not changed much. I still move around the hospital to observe the different situations that may arise, visit the units, and interact with patients and visitors. I am more cautious than usual to avoid contracting the virus. In Ghana, there has not yet been a total lockdown.
What protocols have changed at the hospital as a result of COVID-19?
So far the hospital is working well, even though preparation and the preventative mechanisms are exhausting our economic resources. We have implemented measures to stop the spread of the virus. At the entrance of our facilities, we have installed a control station where our healthcare personnel can examine and detect suspected cases of COVID-19 before these patients access the complex.
We have installed hand-washing stations throughout the hospital to facilitate and promote good hygiene among patients and professionals. We have also acquired protective equipment for the entire staff.
As head of the hospital, I am concerned about the welfare of the large staff under my leadership. Their safety is my priority, so we are taking all possible measures to avoid contact with the virus.
What measures are being taken to ensure the safety of patients?
Since 4 February, before the first case was reported in Ghana, our Quality Control and Clinical Monitoring Team organised a training workshop for the whole staff where they received training on the coronavirus, as well as the prevention and control of infectious diseases. We also embarked on a public education campaign: we collaborate with the city’s radio stations to discuss disease contagion and prevention.
In addition, we are very strict about visiting hours and only allow patients to receive one visitor at a time in order to limit the flow of people coming in and out of the hospital.
What has been your biggest concern so far?
The scarcity of PPE (personal protective equipment) and the increase in prices of essential healthcare items, particularly since the National Healthcare System has not reimbursed us for the funds we have had to advance for the past year, causing the pharmaceutical companies from which we buy products to refuse us credit.
What measures are you taking on a personal level to prevent contagion?
I strictly adhere to the established protocols for all staff, such as frequent hand washing; I insist that everyone who visits the office wash their hands regularly. And we no longer shake hands. I am very careful because I am in close contact with many people, some of whom are vulnerable. I take social distancing very seriously.
Is there anything you would like to say to the Hospitaller community?
I want to encourage the Sisters, the co-workers, and the volunteers from all our centres to continue their wonderful professional and humanitarian work, and continue praying. I also want to urge everyone to adhere to WHO protocols on disease prevention.