by Stanslaus Shayo from Tanzania

From time to time, we use this site to publish articles from friends of the volunteershouse. We call them guest blog articles. This is a guest blog post by Stanlaus Shayo. Stan visited the volunteers house in November 2019 when he completed his international internship program at the FN Brno Bohunice Hospital in Brno, Czech Republic.

He is sharing his experience working as an Intern Doctor in Tanzania during this time of COVID-19 global Pandemic outbreak. He writes:

„Graduating from Muhimbili University after 5 intensive years of pursuing a Medical degree came with an opportunity to travel the World. I had signed for the Medical exchange program in Czech Republic and it was well accomplished. I spared two free weeks which made me able to visit some German cities including Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin, Wuppertal, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Dortmund. I met Derek and Josephat whom we studied at the same University in Tanzania. I also visited the volunteers‘ house where Josephat was living during his volunteering year and I had fun to meet Carol, Dika, Hannah, Rachel and Andro.
After my exchange program in Czech and adventures in Germany, I returned to Tanzania and picked up on my internship activities at the National hospital. I was rotating in Obstetrics and Gynecology department in the dusking days of 2019 when corona virus was announced a medical emergency in China. Of course it was no big deal by then since it was not the first time such alert was raised. It was also all the way in China they can handle it, we all believed, besides it’s just a normal flu.
It was 16th march 2020 when the government announced the first corona virus case in Tanzania. By this time the disease had already been declared a global pandemic. Clearly this was not just your everyday flu and now this was my problem. The pathophysiology of the disease is a mystery, mode of transmission and prevention still debatable and the World very far away from a vaccine not even mentioning a cure. Every confirmed case, every fatality raises more questions than answers!
It was just a matter of time then until the disease spread to my hospital. The country had taken measures to halt the spread of the disease by shutting down all unnecessary events, gatherings, schools and universities. Everyone was instructed to have a face mask on at all times and facilities to wash hands were placed in key areas for people to use. Public transportation was limited to the number of passengers so as to reduce the amount of congestion. Football competitions as well as other sporting events were put on hold. Weddings were discouraged or limited to the most minimal number of attendants. Congregations were also checked. The Nation did not prohibit gathering for prayers but rather people were advised to take the necessary precauseions while worshiping. They were also urged to pray for the salvation of the nation.

At work measures ware also taken. Every worker was to be provided with essential protective gears every day. A special unit was set to only deal with suspected covid-19 patients, they were provided with the required gears and a special isolation unit was set to accommodate them. All covid-19 patients were then to be sent to other selected hospitals or quarantine units.
I am in intern Doctor currently rotating in surgery department. I have no symptoms of the disease and I go to work every day. Not because I am forced to, or that I can’t just stay at home, but because I believe it the right thing to do. Its my oath and it’s what I love to do.“