Frontline Stories

Wednesday 20 May 2020

"Since the emergence of the first COVID19 case in the Sudan, Save the Children Sudan teams have been working tirelessly to ensure that children and their family are protected from the pandemic. Our work has been widely recognized by donors, government, UN agencies but most importantly the communities we serve" Arshad Malik- Country Director.

 

Hear it from our frontline team:

 
 
Pic1: Dr. Omnia examining the children before returning to their families, as part of SC Sudan response to COVID19.
 

Omina is a medical doctor. She was contracted by Save the Children Sudan for two weeks, to work in Khalawi evection response, amid Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Omnia examine the children and conducted awareness sessions on Covid-19. 

She said “I did not hesitate to take this opportunity, as I felt it was my duty, especially that it involved children who are miles away from their families and their homes"

 Omnia also added:

"When we were conducting Covid-19 awareness sessions, I was surprised that most of the children already knew about the pandemic, yet most of them were not aware of the protective measures including personal hygiene and social distancing. We have introduced the children to the protective measures and distributed face masks and hand sanitizers.

The children weren’t worried about the pandemic, rather from the possibility that they may not be able to return to their families due to the travel curfew, so they were really excited that they will be reunited with their families again”

 
 
Pic2: Dr. Nadir speaking about the readiness of the Isolation Center at Khartoum Hospital, as part of SC Sudan response to COVID19. 

Dr. Nadir is a health emergency program manager, he works as a part of COVID-19 response team -case management and risk communication components at Save the Children. His job is to work on implementing COVID-19 strategies. 

He is currently supporting the Isolation Centre at Khartoum Hospital as well as Save the Children staff at field level, to ensure they are protected and having IPC measures respected and implemented. He said:

“I work from 8:00, somtimes until 2:00 am, my children worry that I go to work on a daily basis amid the developing situation related to COVID19.

Being a medical doctor, I cannot just keep watching during this situation. Therefore, I am thinking to rent a separate apartment to prevent the risk of transmitting the infection to my family due to the nature of my work.

Personally, I consider this a very humbled contribution, so I’m grateful for Save the Children for giving me the opportunity to do this job. 

My concern is that social structure in Sudan can contributes to increased infection, I believe the only way to break the chain is by taking the decision and working hard to adhere to the prevention measures.

On the other hand, I am really amazed by the children in my environment, how they are aware about COVID-19 and even sometimes they do comment and give advice on preventive measures”

 

Pic3: Mohamed Osman is one of the COVID19 response team who supports the preparation and the operation of Khartoum Isolation Center.

Mohamed Osman is the Country Supply Chain Manager at Save the Children Sudan. As part of the response team, he is working on precuring essential commodities for childrenas well as live-saving supplies (such as medical equipment and the personal protection equipment, medicines, vaccines, sanitation, etc.). He said:

“The novel COVID-19 pandemic is imposing pressure on Sudan Supply Chain, since the start of the outbreak Save the Children Supply Chain Unit has been undertaking continuous assessments to the impact of this crisis on shipping, goods and services availability and workmanship.

All emergency response teams are on call 24 hours, I remember we spent whole nights working on preparing the Isolation Center. We are required to follow protective measures and stay alerted for infection at all times, we always wear facemasks while we are on duty. In addition to this, we are always making sure we sanitize hands regularly and follow social distancing protocols.

To insure the safety of my family, I have made some changes to my interactions with them such as changing my clothes before meeting them when Icome back home, and wash or sanitize my hands first.

I feel what we are doing is very important., we are working to save humanity, we are fighting against a virus that threaten the mankind and this is what keeps us going and motivated to keep fighting until we win”

 

 Pic4: Safa conducting awareness session on health and hygiene in Port-Sudan.
 

Safa Badawi is a Public Health Officer at Save the Children Sudan, as part of the response team she works on conducting awareness sessions to the community, children and medicals staff, providing and distributing of IPC materials in the targeted HFs, coordinating with MOH Emergency Department and providing adequate response to the Case ManagementComponent. She said:

 
“Although I work for continuous and extensive hours these days, but I love my work so much, as I feel happy and satisfied when I support the community and the medical staff during these uncertain times to curb the spread of COVID19.
 
I used to interact with my family normally -as usual-, but with the growing number of cases I have started to take as much preventive measures as possible, as I’m really worried about the spread of coronavirus in Sudan.
 
I believe we still need to provide more interventions and action programmers to support the Health System in Sudan, as well as to work on empowering the Risk Communication.
 
We need to work on a strategic plan, and gather efforts to create a behavioural change in the communities, focusing on children

Pic5: Omer is one of the COVID19 response team who supports the preparation and the operation of Khartoum Isolation Center.
 

Omer Sharfy is the Country Procurement Manager at Save the Children Sudan. As part of the response to #Coronavirus, Omer is part of the response team who supports the preparation and the operation of Khartoum Isolation Center.

One day Omer took a family member to a private hospital for a scheduled check-up, despite the entry restrictions imposed due to COVID. The moment he and his family arrived at the hospital, the medical staff immediately helped them get the support needed. When Omer went to pay his medical bills, Hospital staff recognized Save the Children ID and refused to charge Omer anything for the service they rendered.

Staff at hospital kept on thanking Omer and Save the Children for the efforts Save the Children teams are putting in and stated ‘’it’s the least we can do to pay you back.’’

Omer later said “I was so overwhelmed emotionally by the care and dedication of the medical staff. I remembered all the long weekends we had to work, to ensure we deliver quality medical support to the country during this pandemic. Yet, every-time I feel tired – which happens a lot - I remember our front-line doctors and I just can’t stop doing my best, because they count on us! It was so overwhelming to know that our efforts are well recognized and well appreciated. Although the medical staff member and I did not know each other, I felt it to the core, that we are #InThisTogether. I wish to thank my team at Save the Children who each and collectively made me so proud to be part of them”.