Table View doctor facing Covid-19 head on

Dr Roslyn Lutaaya has been at the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic since day one.

Dr Roslyn Lutaaya has worked almost exclusively with Covid-19 cases at Milnerton’s Albow Gardens Clinic since the outbreak hit our shores.

The Table View doctor has been at the clinic for four-and-a half years, doing consultation and management of acute and chronic illnesses in adults and children as well as basic antenatal care.

But the pandemic changed her daily routine.

Now her days are filled with screening, testing and treating patients presenting with suspected Covid-19 infections as well as managing confirmed cases telephonically.

She works now in full personal protective equipment in the dedicated Covid-19 unit at the clinic. The Covid-19 team includes herself, professional nurses and clinical nurse practitioners. They consult and treat up to 30 patients a day.

“Our staff screen every patient entering our facility for symptoms of Covid-19 infection. Patients that are found to have symptoms are then directed to our dedicated respiratory clinic/Covid-19 clinic for further care,” she says.

“We provide health education, arrange referral for isolation if needed and testing for patients that are at risk of serious Covid-19 disease.”

Dr Lutaaya says she has to be constantly vigilant and “mindful of and practising infection control” during her daily routine.

“It makes the job of caring for patients more mentally difficult. My family life and behaviour outside of work have also had to change, because I must change my clothing and shower before I can greet my children and family.”

She encourages the public to observe diligent hygiene appropriate to their work environment.

“Everyone should wear a good quality mask when in public, practise physical distancing and wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap as often as possible.

Since there is community spread of infection, I would encourage that everyone shower or bath and change their clothing as soon as they return home, if they have the means to.”

It’s important, she says, for those in the medical profession to support each other and share the burden and responsibility.

“Don’t be quick to criticise, offer a solution if you think something can be done better. Be kind to each other. Look for opportunities to help and make sure you ask for help when you need it.”

She urges the public to always follow lockdown and physical-distancing regulations.

“You are doing this not only to protect yourself, but those around you.”

To keep herself motivated, she tries not to focus on the pandemic statistics, especially during her free time, and instead tackles each day as it comes.

“We can only do our best for each patient,” she says, “the rest is up to God.”