Too young to volunteer her services when SARS struck Singapore in 2003, Dr Lim Sing Hui was eager to do so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Singapore. After all, she has completed her medical degree at Duke-NUS, and is currently a third-year ophthalmology resident at SNEC. When the call came for volunteers to be stationed at migrant worker dormitories experiencing high rates of infection, Dr Lim saw many of her seniors and peers stepping up, and was inspired to do the same. “I’ve never felt more ready to contribute directly at the frontline,” she asserts.
Dr Lim was stationed at Cassia@Penjuru dormitory from May to June 2020, and was assigned the 8.30am–3pm shift. During each shift, she put on personal protection equipment before seeing the workers for acute ailments or to manage their chronic conditions and prescribe medications. There, she treated migrant workers who have “worked tirelessly behind the scenes to construct the many amazing buildings and landscapes of our country”. She adds that the migrant workers appreciated what she and her team were doing for them. “They would wave at us from their rooms above while we are in the resting area having lunch!”
What also left a deep impression on Dr Lim during her volunteering stint was the strong team spirit. “Everyone helped each other readily, be it the registering of patients, taking of their vitals, performing swabs, or dispensing medications,” she enthuses. The upbeat and positive vibe among the team, plus everyone’s inherent trust in the safety protocols implemented, made bearable even the deep discomfort of wearing PPE in Singapore’s hot and humid weather!
Dr Lim is also grateful for a solid support system outside the dormitory. “I have been receiving much love and care from my mentors, colleagues, family, and friends. They have called or dropped numerous text messages to convey their concern for my well-being, which I am very thankful for.”
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