Since the advent of the recent surge, nurses at the Covid-19 ward at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital have been working overtime and under immense pressure to care for patients infected with the virus. But their efforts have not gone without notice.
Social activist Kishma Penn & a few others are ensuring that nurses are fed while working on the frontline.
Kishma relayed that the nurses had initially communicated to her the dire conditions they are working under due to the overwhelming capacity at the ward and how that was negatively affecting their employee morale.
This was the inspiration behind the project Kishma said and while she had initially intended to provide lunch for two days, the overwhelming public support has made it possible for her to provide meals daily.
In speaking with our newsroom Kishma said “as an asthmatic, I grew up in the hospital and the nurses played an integral role in my life in terms of helping to raise and care for me, so they have a special place in my heart. So to know they are going through this tough time, they are not being paid double time or the hours they deserve, having to work 12-hour, 24-hour and sometimes even 48-hour shifts was really disheartening for me.”
”So just to try to boost their morale and sort of encourage them to know that the community is still with them is my main focus. But also because it’s just one hospital and if they fall we fall. They are our first, last and only defense against covid so I try my best where they are concerned,” she added.
Kishma’s ongoing efforts were highly commended by the Acting Chief Executive Officer of BVI Health Services.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community who has reached out the BVIHSA in a huge way in terms of trying to feed the staff and trying to keep them encouraged in that manner. Food brings comfort.”
“We want to say thank you to everybody who has been feeding them. Ms Kishma Penn has gone above and beyond during the day to bring in food.”
Mrs. Malone-Smith also thanked Caprichio, the Governor and other persons and entities who would have contributed.
She also made an impassioned plea for residents to contact BVI Health Services Authority if they are able to render services to ease the pressure off of nurses, especially since they are currently short-staffed.
“The staff has been working hard. Staff have been out because they were positive or exposed to positive people but at least 75 out of the 168 are now back at work, so that is great.”
Mrs. Malone-Smith also strongly implored persons to abide by all health protocols to slow the aggressive transmission of Covid-19 recorded recently.
Persons who would like to support Kishma Penn’s meal drive can contact (284) 340-4975
284 Media salutes all of the health officials working on the frontline to protect these Virgin Islands.