My name is Dr. Essama Azeme M. Lafortune and I’m 24 years old. I am a medical doctor and I live in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde. I work at a specialized centre for COVID-19 at the Central Hospital of Yaounde.
How long have you been working as a healthcare worker and what made you choose a career in healthcare? Any fears or regrets?
I have been a doctor for just over a year now after graduating from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Yaounde. Being a doctor was my childhood dream, I always wanted to take care of people and be able to save lives. Today, I have realized that dream! I have no regrets about getting into this career. However, I have set myself such great professional goals that I sometimes wonder whether I will ever achieve them.
How are you helping fight COVID-19 in your country? How has your work changed since COVID-19 broke out?
I am currently serving at the specialized patient-care centre for COVID-19 in Yaoundé’s main hospital. I am helping my country fight the virus by treating and taking care of those of have tested positive and doing follow-ups.
What affects you most in this COVID-19 situation? What keeps you going?
What affects me most is the limited physical contact with my family. Generally, we are a close-knit family and staying away from them is not easy.
What keeps me going is though is knowing that together we can win this war. By observing the COVID-19 protocols set up by our governments, we will overcome this virus.
What strategy, in your view, has worked well in this fight and what has not? What should be done to win the war against COVID-19?
The measures put in place such as social distancing, wearing face masks, as well as the setting up of mass screening points to help with the diagnosis and rapid management of patients, have worked well. To win this war, countries must work together as a team and support one another in developing a curative treatment. Also, the people should respect all recommended measures.
What is your message to people in your country, and to fellow Africans in general, at this time of COVID-19?
Together, we will succeed in defeating COVID-19. Let’s stay strong!