Director of Maternal and Child Health Dr. Andrea Griffith-Bowe stepped outside her practice as an obstetrician gynecologist and walked onto the frontlines to battle COVID-19 at the South Beach Clinic.
“Right now I’m assigned to the triage area twice a week and so basically we are the persons that would meet individuals who’ve been requested to come to the center,” said Griffith-Bowe in an interview with The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
“And those individuals may or may not have symptoms. Those individuals may or may not be tested for COVID-19.”
She added, “At this point we have adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) at the center and, to be honest with you, the South Beach COVID center is very peaceful because it is literally a place where you know what to expect.
“We know what’s coming so we know how to be properly prepared. I would state, however, that prior to my first shift here I was extremely scared.
“I was extremely scared not knowing what to expect.”
She continued, “I quickly acclimatized and I must admit that I am no longer fearful.
“But that does not mean that I am being reckless or careless, but I am no longer fearful.”
Griffith-Bowe is one of the many doctors in private practice who has answered the call of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to join the fight against the deadly virus.
She now devotes her time between emergency cases for her obstetrics and gynecology practice, working at Princess Margaret Hospital, working at the South Beach Clinic and then at the end of the day going home to help her children with schoolwork – a process she said can last up to 10 p.m.
But the doctor said the hours are not too much for her, and that she “absolutely” feels comfortable going home to her family even after dealing with positive COVID-19 cases.
“I know how to protect myself. I know how to protect my family and the fear went away,” Griffith-Bowe said.
She credits having a good support system of family, friends, colleagues and her church, with keeping her spirits up even as she fights on the frontlines against the disease that has killed 11 people in The Bahamas and more than 250,000 globally.
At least 20 healthcare professionals were among the country’s 89 confirmed cases and one renowned doctor was among the deaths.
But Griffith-Bowe feels the country is “doing the best that we can with the limited resources that we have”.
“I think that we just have to hold on and keep the faith,” she said.
“We’re going to get through this.”