Commander Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy, on all fronts

Everyone is on the alert in the fight against the coronavirus. Doctor and Commander Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy shares a slice of life with us, not forgetting to encourage women.

Fanja Saholiarisoa
Le commandant médecin Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy dans son uniforme
UNICEF Madagascar/2020
13 October 2020

With regard to strong character, it is really needed now in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone – in his respective environment –  is adapting to the best of his capacity to this disease. This is also the case for Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy, commander of the Malagasy army and medical assistant in the general and vascular surgery department of the Soavinandriana Hospital.

For this 39-year-old mother, the daily life is busy with an alarm clock at 5 am after which she has to prepare food for her 16-year-old son and her companion. "I have to organize myself really well if I want to make sure that I do things well on a daily basis," she explains, while describing a bit her daily life in a hurry. “After leaving home, I am driving to pick up my son's homework at his school. After that, either I go to the hospital or to the covid19 special intervention squad. Once arrived, I deal with routine activities: visits to patients and surgical interventions if there are any. And if I am on call, I do not go home until the next day. The main duties consist of investigations regarding the patients and sample collection when we receive calls from the Covid19 command and control centre. Before going home, I make shopping for the week. Once at home, I have the time to check my son's homework and chat a bit with him and my partner. Fortunately, he is also a doctor and surgeon, so he can understand the pace of my job very well,” explains Tantely Nirina, while stressing that her companion takes care of everything at home when she is on call. 


Le Commandant Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy dans sa blouse de médecin
UNICEF Madagascar/2020

Working at the front line in this fight against the coronavirus, our military doctor is exposed to risks of contamination. Her military training and mental toughness are of great help in her job; they help her deal with the sick and care for those people. She tries to protect herself too. “Before I get into my house, I take off my clothes, wash my hands and take a shower. Hydroalcoholic gel and soap are placed in front of the entrance if a stranger comes into our home. Apart from that, we measure the temperature of visitors at the forehead. Then, we clean our cell phones, watches, glasses and other personal effects. In the evening, I always prepare tea infusions with essential oils, ginger and cinnamon. We also eat vegetables and fruits every day to strengthen immunity. I think that all these measures are necessary to protect us as much as possible,” she emphasizes.

In Malagasy society, many people are astonished to see Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy in action, a military woman practicing mostly in a male environment but who also knows how to adapt well to the world of medical emergencies.

"In my job, I have to have several qualities to be of service to patients as best I can. I must first gain their trust. After that, there are times when I have to be strict and stern, and also times where I have to listen to them and be understanding. My message to mothers is simple:  Always be proud of yourself as mothers. There is no greater duty than that of a mother. In the face of problems and various concerns, always be courageous and always hold your head high,” concludes the one who still manages to take care of her flowers and cook good meals with her family despite her permanent struggle against the coronavirus.


Le Commandant Tantely Nirina Andriamboavonjy et son fils
UNICEF Madagascar/2020