Women patients at this Ambur COVID-19 Care Centre feel at home

The storytelling sessions for children by elderly women, singing and playing games have made the exclusive CCC for women a place that patients miss once they are discharged.

The fear that 72-year-old Yesodha, a daily wage earner from Sanankuppam in Ambur experienced when she tested COVID-19 positive faded away when she was admitted in the exclusive COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC) for women in Ambur, Tirupathur district. She considered other women patients and medical staff as family and told stories to children. Even the doctors fondly addressed her as ‘paati’ (grandmother).

From daily storytelling sessions for children by elderly women to singing songs and playing games — the exclusive CCC has become a place that children and elders miss once they get discharged.

“Ms. Yesodha is a widow and does not have children. She earned a living from the MGNREGA and cooked by herself. So she was very happy being among so many people. She was discharged recently without any complications. We will go and meet her soon,” said Madhurya Arithra, a medical officer at the centre.

The 100-bedded CCC with women doctors and medical staff was started in Ambur on May 10 and till date 535 patients were admitted here and out of this 470 of them have been discharged. As on date, 40 patients are undergoing treatment in the facility. There are a total of three medical officers and 10 nurses who work here on a shift basis.

“When women come from the same locality, they usually occupy beds close to each other. We never restrict this as all are asymptomatic and feel comfortable,” she added. This facility is located in the Ambur trade centre and was started as the women patients were feeling uncomfortable sharing a common space with men. “They felt there was no privacy. Hence, the district administration started this centre. The medical staff and doctors are also women so the patients are comfortable,” said Ms. Madhurya Arithra.

Initially the patients, especially children who tested positive along with their mothers, were homesick. “Slowly the elderly patients here started telling stories to them. Our nurses also used to stand and listen. The patients sang songs and played small games and spoke to each other. They became well bonded. We also play with the children and give them chocolates when they are discharged,” added M. Sumitra, staff nurse at the centre.

Nivedha, 21, admitted in the centre said there was a homely atmosphere. “We play games in the evening and do breathing exercises. The women also feel there is privacy and are comfortable around the women medical staff,” she added.

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