THOUGHTS

Johor Doctors Association, Public Unite To Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

07/12/2020 10:15 AM
Opinions on topical issues from thought leaders, columnists and editors.

By Tan Ping May

COVID-19 is sweeping across the globe. There isn’t a medication or a vaccination for the disease. Most people feel scared and stressful in the midst of the war against COVID-19.

During this unprecedented situation, healthcare workers find themselves at risk of contracting the virus, having to leave their loved ones at home and heeding the call to fight the pandemic as they serve as the frontline soldiers for the welfare of the people and the country.

At the same time, there is shortage of personal protective equipment, face masks, gloves, surgical gowns and etc all over the world. There is an urgent need for personal protective equipment in Johor as well. So how can a soldier enter the field of battle without any ammo?

Help and donations

The frontline healthcare workers are not fighting their own battles. The committee members of Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor or Johor Doctors Association (PDDJ) have taken the initiative by sponsoring and sourcing for medical equipment as well as looking for sponsorship from other non-governmental organisations and the public. They serve as the guardians of the frontline healthcare workers to ensure that their colleagues working on the frontline combating the COVID-19 pandemic are geared up for the war as they need to be protected by any means necessary. Without the frontline healthcare workers, we cannot win the war.

In a few weeks’ time, Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor has coordinated to secure RM2,216,200 worth of medical equipment, including personal protective equipment coverall suit, face masks, face shields and hand sanitiser, with help and donations from other non-governmental organisations and the public. The list is an inclusive but not exhaustive list of medical equipment donated.

All of the medical supplies have been channelled to different hospitals in Johor, including Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA); Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI); Hospital Permai; Hospital Kluang; Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail, Batu Pahat; Hospital Kulai and Hospital Kota Tinggi as well as Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB); Johor Bahru Public Health Laboratory; Johor District Health Office (PKDJB); Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM); Kluang Prison; Mercy UK; Kedah, Labuan, Hospital Queen Elizabeth and many more.

Without the support of the public and other non-governmental organisations, this project will not be a success. Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor helped in coordinating the donations of personal protective equipment worth RM110,000 from Persekutuan Tiong Hua Johor Bharu. Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA), Johor, and Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI), Johor, each received three automatic beds, one emergency trolley, 10 blood pressure sets, five thermoscans and five pulse oximeters sponsored by Persekutuan Tiong Hua Johor Bharu.

As the saying goes, ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’. Tzu Chi Johor Bharu helped in setting up a production line in the shortest time, producing more than 7,000 protective face shields in just eight days.

Resources

The world is indeed facing severe disruption in the market for raw material for personal protective equipment. When Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor managed to secure the non-woven fabric, volunteers in Tzu Chi Johor Bharu immediately helped to cut and sew the non-woven fabric to produce surgical gowns, hoodies and boot covers for the frontline healthcare workers. All the protective face shields and surgical gowns produced by Tzu Chi Johor Bharu are delivered to different hospitals in Johor by Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor.

Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor also collaborated with Ihsan Johor to look for resources in making face shields. Volunteers from Ihsan Johor also helped in making face shields which are delivered to the hospitals in Johor. Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor together with Ihsan Johor also sent hoodies, disposable panties, shower caps, chocolates and face shields to frontline healthcare workers in the Emergency Department and ICU Department in the Johor Bharu Hospital. These basic necessities are much-needed as they need to shower multiple times in a day to disinfect themselves. Together, we fight COVID-19.

Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor has also contributed personal protective equipment, including isolation gowns, hood covers, boot covers, masks and coveralls, to the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB). The COVID-19 fight in Johor Bahru will not be possible without the help from the city council in cleaning and disinfecting public areas, dialysis units and clinics. They are the frontline heroes risking their lives performing the cleaning and disinfection work to stem the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and the city of Johor Bahru remains a safe place.

While the healthcare workers in Sabah and Kedah are working relentlessly to take care of COVID-19 patients, Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor has extended a helping hand to Sabah and Kedah to ensure that the healthcare workers have adequate protection against COVID-19. Without the generous help of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Distribution (KTMD), the medical equipment and personal protective equipment may not be delivered to Kedah and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in Subang swiftly. Those medical equipment and personal protective equipment were later flown from RMAF Subang to Labuan and Hospital Queen Elizabeth.

Donors

Last but not least, thank you to all donors who supported Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor in this tough time, ensuring that the medical equipment and personal protective equipment are sent to the hospitals of Johor and other parts of Malaysia promptly. A small gesture from each and every donor means a lot to the frontline healthcare workers.

In the midst of these challenging times, Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor has also continued to serve the community of Johor despite working round-the-clock in sponsoring, sourcing for medical equipment as well as coordinating sponsorship in this COVID-19 fight.

Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor has worked closely with the Paediatric Palliative Care Unit at HSAJB in providing home visits to neonates and children with underlying conditions or disabilities as well as coordinating milk supply donation from the Kempas Medical Centre to these children.

Our fight against COVID-19 is still on but we have not lost the war to COVID-19. COVID-19 may bring lots of pain, hardship and loss but with love and kindness, we can definitely overcome hardship of any intensity.

Dear Malaysians, let’s work together by practising physical distancing and hand-washing to fight COVID-19! Stay home, stay safe.

-- BERNAMA

Tan Ping May is President of PDDJ Newcastle University Student Alliance. The article was edited by Dr Ng Kim Fong, President of Persatuan Doktor-Doktor Johor.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of BERNAMA)
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