MANILA, PHILIPPINES -— Dr. Arlene Dominguez of Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila recalls that when the hospital opened its doors to COVID patients in the early days of the pandemic lockdown, they had only 50 PPE.
“Because of the scarcity of PPE, doctors were a bit anxious for their safety as well as that of their own families. Hence, all efforts were done to assure the doctors and nurses that PPE will be available,” she says.
As chief of clinics and head of the medical division, ensuring the safety of the doctors and the medical staff was a key part of her job. That is why she was quite relieved and grateful when PLDT Smart Foundation (PSF) knocked on their doors and provided them with the vital PPE.
The P100K worth of PPE, coursed through PSF, was paid for by the funds raised by a recent Smart Mobile Legends online tournament which encouraged Smart and TNT subscribers to play for the benefit of public health hospitals and frontline workers.
“PSF and its compassionate donors deserve congratulations for rising above Covid-19 pandemic. We really appreciate their generosity, having donated PPE for Sta. Ana Hospital’s frontliners, especially during the earlier weeks of the pandemic. PSF has been very helpful in providing safety to all our health workers,” Dr. Dominguez said.
“At present, Sta. Ana Hospital continues to seek donors for PPE. There is still much to learn about this novel corona virus and its course remains an enigma to most medical experts. We hope that PLDT and Smart can continue to expand their capacity to provide internet connection with improved speed since many people will be relying on their services in these tough times and the new normal afterwards,” she added.
Dr. Dominguez reports to the hospital daily on weekdays and occasionally on weekends. “I make sure that doctors are available in all areas of service, such as the tent triage, emergency room, wards, and operating/delivery room. I also do the rounds in the hospital.”
She shares that the safety and well-being of her family is very much in her mind. Hers is a closely-knit clan, with all her siblings and their families living in one compound.
“Before the pandemic, we have family gatherings almost every month to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Everything is different now. Like most people, I worry that I might bring home the virus and infect my family, especially my parents who, at 94 and 88, are in the high-risk group. Nowadays, I miss hugging my parents and children.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Mellanie Banga of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital said the obvious reason why some of the staff in the hospital’s isolation building tested positive for COVID-19 is the reusing of PPE due to the limited supply. This protective gear, as emphasized by medical experts, can only be used once.
That is why Dr. Banga and the entire staff were so happy when PSF turned over to the Fabella hospital PPE, worth P100K, from the generous contribution of the Smart Communications Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SEMPCO).
The anesthesiologist hopes PSF and its donors will “continue reaching out and helping people and institutions in dire need of support as we continue to look for the cure and vaccine for COVID.”
Steadfast in doing her work to control the virus, Dr. Banga works the 24-hour-duty every four days to help treat Covid patients.
She believes that “life-threatening situations, like this pandemic, requires collective cooperation and participation with initiative and discipline.”
Apart from Sta. Ana and Dr. Jose Fabella, PSF also provided 100 PPE each to three other hospitals — Novaliches Hospital, National Center for Mental Health, and San Lazaro Hospital, using Kapit Kapatid Funds.
PSF is a non-profit organization that fully serves as the social outreach arm of PLDT, Inc. and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc.
To know more about the efforts of the PLDT Group in beating the COVID-19 pandemic, visit beta.pldt.com/covid19.