Carlos Tello Ponce, an Ecuadorian doctor who applies knowledge learnt in Cuba whilst fighting coronavirus in his homeland.
Sinay Céspedes Moreno
Every morning, the family medicine specialist attends the IESS South Quito hospital, in the capital, to attend to possible carriers of the new strain of coronavirus.
But she also is there to give follow-up support to others, who have already passed through this illness.
In his work, he says, as well as responsibility, he adds tenacity, love and awareness, characteristics that he learnt in almost a decade of studying in Cuba, where he trained as a doctor and studied his specialism.
In an interview with Latin Press Tello Ponce explained that he studied and lived in Cuba from 2006 until 2015.
The fight against the illness has taken him to overwhelming extremes, he has realised the power of words, he has felt the presence of those that are no longer there and felt, on a daily basis, a carousel of emotions including happiness, sadness, euphoria and impotence.
“Nobody said that it is easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes, nobody told me about the love you could feel for a stranger and nobody told me that someone could arrive and touch the bottom of your heart and leave a teaching”, he said.
Among everything, that he learnt in Cuba, in the work of facing the new strain of the coronavirus, is the epidemiological care of the patients, such as the promotion and prevention of acute respiratory illnesses.
However, in his evaluation, Tello also includes values such as solidarity, humanism, internationalism, that go inseparably together with what he mentioned before.
“It is the will to attend to patients in the best way, empathy with the patient, quality treatment with warmth and involving society in health care”, he says.
With all these arms applied in his day-to-day work, he says that the experience is very human, as he does not just worry about the health of the patient, but also about their social environment.
Regarding this point, he recalls having seen whole families admitted and it is sad to confirm the death of one of their members, a moment, in which, the role of the doctor to give a friendly shoulder and to offer support in the inevitable pain is important.
But also, in his opinion, the most beautiful moments have been to see an endless number of recovered patients, with a smile and even more moving when there are words of encouragement, gratitude or a big hug. Then he feels that his “work will always be worthwhile”.
For Cuba and its community, he sends a message: “Take great care of yourselves, be responsible, aware, disciplined, maintain good hand hygiene and take the necessary social distancing measures, such as using the compulsory face mask”.
To his teachers, professional colleagues and all healthcare personal in general, he asks that they do not let their guard down and that they are careful to use suitable PPE to avoid infection and to keep being able to attend to the medical needs of the citizens.
In general, Tello thanks Cuba, this small but big nation, he says that “make up an army of white coats (health professionals), not only in Ecuador but all around the world, who today are fighting the pandemic”.
“The fear of Covid- 19 is overcome with science and love. Science to protect oneself and your loved ones, and love to fight for the lives of others”, he concludes. (PL)
(Traducido por Carol M Byrne – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay