When you are “eager” to return to work in a hospital during a pandemic, it might be safe to say that you have found your calling. That is the case for Dr Mehdi Irfani, a trainee at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr Irfani, who graduated from Aga Khan University last year, and is an alumnus of the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Gilgit, is counting the days till the end of his quarantine period, having tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with a patient while on duty.
Jamila Bahar did her schooling from Aga Khan Higher Secondary, Kuragh, after which she joined the nursing programme at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi. Having graduated just four months ago, she has been thrown into the depths of her profession by the outbreak of the virus. While she admits that work-related stress has increased, thanks to the personal protection trainings she and her colleagues have received, she says she is feeling confident going to work every day. She too was placed into isolation after contact with a COVID-19 positive patient, but thankfully tested negative. Jamila says that she would like to specialize in mental health nursing down the line.
The workload has also increased, Dr Musani tells us, as a result of doctors getting infected and unable to continue their duties. Nevertheless, she says: “Medicine is the only profession for me. I was born to do this work.” Meanwhile, she is keeping her distance from family members at home, and cooking and eating separately to protect them.
For now, like his colleagues all over the world, Dr Irfani is looking forward to going back to work: “Health practitioners are needed more than ever right now, and I want to play my part.”