Doctor’s big sacrifice

2020-04-06 14:30
Pietermaritz-burg’s Dr Yolanda Ngobese.‘My first born understands but it was very difficult explaining to my last born why they had to go and stay with my in-laws. Being an essential worker means I can’t be with my kids,’ she said.

Pietermaritz-burg’s Dr Yolanda Ngobese.‘My first born understands but it was very difficult explaining to my last born why they had to go and stay with my in-laws. Being an essential worker means I can’t be with my kids,’ she said.

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Despite the serious health risk it might pose to her, her two young children and other close family members, a Pietermaritzburg doctor has decided to keep her medical practice open so that she can help others during the 21-day national lockdown.

Dr Yolanda Ngobese, who co-runs Siyo Medical Centre at the Greater Edendale Mall with her husband Sihle, said she could not think of anything more dutiful than to continue being of service to her patients during the lockdown.

“I’m bound by an oath and I religiously follow the oath because it spells out my professional life and my vocation,” she told The Witness.

For the young mother of two to continue providing medical care to her patients, she had to move her two young children out of their home in an effort to distance them and hopefully reduce their risk of exposure.

“My first born understands but it was very difficult explaining to my last born why they had to go and stay with my in-laws.

“Being an essential worker means I can’t be with my kids.”

“The reality we came to was ... We can’t live with ourselves if we infected our children,” she said.

Although technology helps to bridge the gap — the question lingers of how long this will go on.

“It’s a mixture of fear and anxiety. There’s anxiety about when this will come to an end and the terror that we can’t lose many more lives.

Emotionally it’s a bit taxing. It’s a question of when — when this all will end?” she said.

As a medical doctor, Ngobese is considered to provide an essential service and is therefore legally allowed to be operating during the lockdown.

“I take the necessary precautions to keep myself safe.

“I wash my hands regularly and sanitise in between patients.

“I have also advised patients with symptoms associated with the virus to rather call and ask for advice than visit the practice.”

To minimise the risk at home, Ngobese said she always ensures that she takes off her work clothes outside the house when she gets home, putting them in the washing machine before going into the main part of the house.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  coronavirus
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