Dr Obinna Anuruegbe

MSc Public Health with Social Action GCU London 2013
GCU London Alumni of the Year 2016

Paediatric Doctor East Midlands

Dr Obinna Anuruegbe 680

Tell us in more detail what your role entails, what challenges you currently face, and how you are finding ways to cope.

My job ranges from providing specialised care to premature infants in the Neonatal ICU to General Hospital care to children and young persons in the general paediatric wards. I also work with obstetricians and midwives during delivery and provide emergency care to babies who require help and stabilisation after birth as well as care for their mothers before transferring them. 

Although there are few reports of severe disease in the children population, it is important to ensure adequate care is provided to infants of infected parents and to prevent transmission to other children who are admitted in the wards. This involves strict use of personal protective measures and a lot of mental ability to balance the ensuring of personal safety in the face of an emergency. Furthermore, a huge number of PPE use is required and the paucity of equipment puts practitioners in a difficult situation.

Often times, babies are separated from their mothers, which stands against the notion of bonding after birth. It is indeed a daunting experience to tell a mother you cannot see your child either due to that child being infected or having been in contact with someone with symptoms. What is sadder is the inability to extend kind gestures to colleagues especially when overwhelmed by the pressures of work due to social distancing in the workplace. However, my team and I have gotten through explaining to mothers the reasons for the restrictions in the interest of the health of their child and children of others and they have been amazingly co-operative.

The pandemic has seen a launch of long-hour shifts with short off-days in several hospitals. While at work, I do take little breaks at a time when the pressure is less, rather than a planned long break. I have also found debriefing with colleagues after the shift ends. be it day or night, to be helpful.

Do you have a top tip for coping at a time of crisis? Or a few words of advice or support for fellow students and alumni on the front line?

To my fellow front-line staff and key workers, your service to humanity will never be forgotten. Keep doing what you do. Do not feel underappreciated, as you step out to duty each day, remember you are everyone's knight or dame. We can beat this, We will beat the beast. #TogetherWeWill #ForTheCommonWeal.

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