Fighter Nurse by Krishnamaya Upadhayay

Photo: Krishnamaya Upadhayay/

FIGHTER NURSE: Sitala Rokaya, a 27 from Sinja, Jumla is a staff nurse at the Karnali Institute of Health Sciences Hospital. She is also the mother of a 9-month-old baby. She is assigned to the intensive care unit and the hospital now treating 14 COVID-19 patients. “There is no place for fear,” says Rokaya, “During this pandemic, positivity and self-confidence has helped her face each day.”

Every time a new COVID-19 case comes into the hospital, she and other nurses on duty are given the PCR test. So far the nurses on duty have been tested negative, but the team got a shock a few days earlier when an infant of one of the team-member was tested positive. Rokaya’s days are long and she doesn’t get home before 5 PM every day. It is hard for her to be away from her baby, especially because she is still nursing her but says her goal is clear, “I am a health worker first and then a mother of a baby.”

Rokaya is realistic about the future and has made peace with the fact that she may test positive at some point during her time fighting the pandemic. But she does not let that stop her from waking up every day and going to work, “Sooner or later, I may also get infected. What is the point of being scared about something that hasn’t happened, when I can focus my efforts on helping people?”

Text and photos: Krishnamaya Upadhayay @purnimashahi572020

Copy edit: Nisha Rai @nishastoryteller

Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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