Wilma Abubakar, US RN, MSc.HM, CIC

Location: United Arab Emirates

Title: Chief Nursing Officer

Company/Organization: Via Medical International Healthcare

First Certified: November 2020

When we heard the news about the Wuhan virus affecting a lot of Chinese people, the UAE government public health experts started to do their research and shared information to all health care industries. I, as a healthcare personnel whose job includes prevention of infection to all our patients, families and our staff also did my studies and research on the prevention of spread of this virus should it reached the UAE, also I focused on Pandemics and Bioterrorism. 

We were alarmed towards the beginning of January and in the beginning of February we were able to produce our first Covid-19 Manual which includes mitigation plan up to the succession planning and conducted immediate education and training of our staff on Covid-19 awareness and prevention of the spread of the virus. 

The spread of the Covid-19 virus was so fast that we were unable to keep up with the procurement of the PPEs, it was the biggest challenge so far, the unavailability of PPEs in the market. Our nurses were trying to make do of the limited numbers of supply until we could get suppliers who would be able to continuously provide us with the PPEs. We needed to contact a lot of people, connections of our connections and believe me it was also the time I realized that in emergency situations there are 2 types of people: they are either helpful or scammers.

From the start we were active with contact tracing and kept a record of all our staff who were exposed to Covid-19 virus and those tested positive. The government of UAE and Abu Dhabi Public Health are up to this day, focused on stopping the virus from spreading and keeping the population safe. Vaccine is available and free for everyone. PCR testing is mandatory on a weekly basis for those not vaccinated, and every 14 days for those vaccinated. 

As a CIC, I need to keep on updating myself related to Covid-19 virus and its related variants because it is my duty to keep my team and our staff informed and update our infection control training manual to share with our patients, families and other stake holders. We needed to involve everyone so we could all work together in preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus.