On the frontline of Madagascar’s fight against the Corona virus
Katicia Hermina, a hospital intern decided to join the battle against Covid19
Katicia Hermina, a hospital intern, knew when she heard the government’s appeal for volunteers to join the country’s battle against Covid-19 that she had to join. At 25, this young woman left her green hospital gown behind and joined the ranks of volunteers responding to the country’s health emergency. "I feel responsible and accountable to the Malagasy people since I am already working in the health sector," she explains. She is motivated, she says, by her conviction that she can help her country.
Her first step was to join a mobile team carrying out home visits to people in quarantine. On her first day, she crisscrossed the city in a specially equipped 4X4 with other members of the team. "It was an unforgettable experience since the people we visited had already been under lots of pressure, and so we tried to reassure them," she said. Two days later she was dispatched to the city’s airport to strengthen teams doing diagnostic tests on thousands of travelers who arrived in Antananarivo before all the country’s airports were closed. The government of Madagascar is working to ensure that all travelers are tested once their incubation period has ended.
At the end of her working days, Katicia is tired but happy to have been able to contribute to the national effort to protect the population from the virus. Each day she tests around twenty people with whom she spends about fifteen minutes each. Tests result are then available about 20 minutes later. "Before every test, we need to calm to each individual to reassure. Waiting to find out can be very stressful for them," said Katicia.
Once back home, the work continues. Each day’s clothes are immediately washed to sanitize them for another day. She then has a bath before collapsing on her bed, preparing herself for the challenges that lay ahead tomorrow.