A Pediatrician at the Bolgatanga Government Hospital, Dr Gillian Bogee has affirmed that it is “real” for people to recover from coronavirus (COVID-19), thus, stigmatization against infected persons must stop.
“The reality is that most people who are infected recover. The higher the number of cases, the higher the number of people who recover. Having COVID-19 does not mean you will have it the rest of your life neither is it a death sentence,” she said.
The Senior Medical Officer was sharing her story on having contracted the disease in the line of duty and her process of recovery at a press briefing in Accra yesterday
According to her, despite showing symptoms of COVID-19 upon coming into contact with a patient at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital where she works on March 29 this year, her test results had initially showed negative for the virus.
“Though my result was negative, I realised I was de-saturating. I had severe body pains, headache and dry cough so after my sample had to be taken again for another test. By then, I had lost my sense of smell, developed diarrhea, difficulty in breathing and sore throat so I started writing down messages in my diary and taking pictures and videos of my condition,” she said.
Dr Bogee recounted how she was saved by a hair’s breadth having spent eight days on oxygen and in intensive care after being airlifted from Bolgatanga to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) for treatment.
“From the ICU, I then spent 12 more days at the normal ward where I received a lot of psychological support from colleagues and other relatives and on May 2, I was discharged after my second negative test,” she added.
The medical practitioner called for the highest support for persons suffering from the disease saying, “let us listen to them and stop the stigmatisation because history will judge the way we treat these people.”
“We must remember that it is the virus that is the enemy so we should not let stigma divide us and turn us against one another. It is important that we practise social distancing but not social isolation,” she advised.