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Surviving Covid-19: How Dr Joan Woode overcame stigma on her road to recovery

Dr Joan Woode at the Neonatal Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital who became infected with Covid-19 has bemoaned the stigma she suffered at the hands of some health workers in another department.

Speaking exclusively to Adom News, Dr Joan Woode said fear gripped her especially when uncertainty crept in about what could happen to her in the days that followed her test.

Dr Woode said she woke up one morning in March and noticed she has lost her sense of smell. She was not alarmed at first but became quite concerned when the following day, she could not smell her favourite perfume but others could.

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Though she entertained fears, Dr Woode explained that she had not come into contact with anyone with the virus hence, her conviction she did not have the virus.

But her worst fear was confirmed after she called in the emergency team to carry out her test. She received the results after five days and was positive. Unfortunately, her nanny was also infected. But they both exhibited different signs. While her nanny was very ill, she was asymptomatic.

Dr Joan Woode interacting with Adom News editor Martha Crentsil Acquah

But her child who was under six-years-old was not infected.

Dr Woode explains, they could not even observe social distance with the child who only followed the Covid-19 protocols strictly. She explained they adjusted to doing extra cleaning at home for the three weeks they remained indoors using bleach and other disinfectants.

After two weeks of treatment, they took the test again and Dr Woode tested positive while her nanny became negative. She then continued her treatment for another week before testing negative.

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Dr Joan Woode is a doctor at the Neonatal Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital

“Taking the test for the second negative was not easy at all. I was afraid of the outcome but I eventually went through,” Dr. Joan Woode said.

She recounts the amazing support she received from her colleagues at work and family while in isolation. She said “some come and leave food at my door, while others offered to buy my drugs for me. Others even call me on the phone and read the Bible to encourage me.”

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But there were some health workers who stigmatised against her even when her test result was not in.

“Some other doctors and nurses in other departments started complaining enquiring why I came to their department when I had Covid-19. But at that time, I did not even know my status until the results came back positive,” adding “these comments really affected me.”

Now Dr Joan Woode is fully recovered and sharing her story to encourage others and dispel myths that Covid-19 is not real.


Adom News

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