RIYADH: Dr. Fadwa Al-Ofi, an infectious diseases consultant at King Fahd Hospital in Madinah, has been on the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since the beginning of the outbreak.
Her role has been to examine and treat patients testing positive for COVID-19 and in a critical condition. Madinah recorded a high number of cases early on in the pandemic.
“Seeing the events unfold was frightening. As specialists, we knew that we were heading into a difficult stage, and we were preparing; reading the news about China and the countries that were hit before the first case appeared in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
The mother-of-two found it a difficult balancing act trying to help patients while also taking care of her family.
“The pandemic had a physical impact on me. The signs of fatigue and stress began after months of continuous work that required us to be at the hospital and on call for long hours, then devoting myself to my research,” Al-Ofi added.
After graduating from Taibah University in Madinah and gaining her Saudi board of internal medicine certification and a fellowship in infectious diseases from the Kingdom, she obtained a second fellowship in transplant infectious diseases from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Al-Ofi said: “Since there is no medicine that has proven effective in treatment (of COVID-19), we were using our best expertise and evidence available to help us provide the best medical service to patients.”