Interview of Petra Ruzickova, polyvalent nurse in the project in Najaf
March 19, 2012
“My name is Petra. I am from Czech Republic. I am a nurse and my position here is called polyvalent nurse. My main task is to work mainly with the chief of nursing department, try to empower his position and also try to standardize nursing care in the hospital.
Since the project has opened, it’s been one year now, this is the first time that there is a nurse in the field. The medical activities have only started in March.
We work in Al Zahara hospital, which is the biggest hospital in Najaf region for mothers and pediatrics. We are focusing mainly in few departments. We don’t work in the whole hospital.
We work mainly in the neonatology department: in the ICU, sterilized neonatology and non sterilized neonatology, and in maternity and operational theatre.
We are here with the aim to decrease the neonatal mortality rate. And why we are in the Al Zahara hospital, it is because most of the deliveries, we don’t know exactly the number, but we assume it is mainly 50% of all deliveries in all Najaf region are in Al Zahara hospital. So that’s why we are also there.
The hospital itself it’s quite well equipped, we can see that they have monitors, they have incubators, they have ventilators. The problem is that there is nobody taking care of those things. So if it’s broken, it’s broken.
And on the other hand they have these high standards, but they are missing basic things. So actually there is no aseptic technique, no infection control at all. The basic things missing.
Something that you would not expect in such a high standard hospital, in a so well equipped hospital to have these problems. This is what we are facing, it´s also one of the challenges, is that we have to start from the beginning.
Going back to what has been changed. We started with the hygiene and we start to promote again the infection control. So those things are visible, people from outside they say: Now look, the hospital looks much better.
For us it’s still not OK. We still see that more needs to be done. But of course there are some changes.
We as MSF we did some rehabilitations. And it is obvious. The maternity ward before was a disaster, all things broken and the tires broken. So we did rehabilitation and I think that it´s something that it is visible, that it is seen and people appreciate.
We hope to stay here for few more years, so maybe we will see a little bit later. Some changes are there, but as I said they are very small, but we just have to be positive about it. It will come hopefully later. “