A bundle of joy amid challenging times

James Kon

Despite following the Brunei Government’s strict standard operating procedure (SOP), Hajah Najibah binti Haji Usin tested COVID-19 positive when she was admitted to Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital on September 29 to deliver her second child.

She was immediately transferred to the National Isolation Centre (NIC) in Tutong District and her child was born on September 30 through a Caesarean operation. The infant boy was tested COVID-19 negative.

Since she was still COVID-19 positive at the time, Hajah Najibah was not able to hold or be near her baby after the operation. Nurses sent her pictures of her newborn through the phone.

During a recent interview with the local media, Hajah Najibah who works as a nurse in the Paediatric Department, recalled her feelings after knowing her positive result.

“I did an antigen rapid test on September 28 before being admitted to RIPAS Hospital, with the result being negative. When I was admitted, I was told to have a PCR swab test and it turned out to be positive. I had mixed feelings of restlessness, worry, fear, confusion and disappointment. I had a heavy heart thinking how I was going to inform my family of the news. At the same time, I was worried about the safety of my unborn baby, my first child, who is one-year-old, and my family at home.”

“I prayed to Allah the Almighty that nothing harmful would happen. Alhamdulillah, my heart was relieved to know that the results of tests conducted for my other family members were negative,” the 34-year-old mother said.

On September 30, she said, “Alhamdulillah, by the will of Allah the Almighty, I was able to give birth to a baby boy through a Caesarean operation. Everything was smooth. Both of us were in good condition and good health.”

During her stay at the NIC in Tutong, she said, “My baby and I were treated well. All meals and facilities were provided for the comfort of each patient in the NIC.”

On October 7, Hajah Najibah was discharged from the NIC and was able to reunite with her baby and family.

Sharing advice for the public, Hajah Najibah said, “My advice is to always abide by the rules and recommendations of the government. Health is the most valuable asset for the safety of oneself, the whole family and the public.”

She also urged the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible, stay at home, wash hands often and keep clean.

“If found to be COVID-19 positive, be strong and stay positive. Pray to Allah the Almighty for protection and care for oneself as well as members of family.

“I have had two doses of the vaccine and did not have symptoms throughout the ordeal,” she shared.

Imparting advice to the people who are yet to be vaccinated, especially pregnant mothers, she said, “At first, I felt that it was hard to get vaccinated because of the need to book an appointment and it was always full. However, my superiors continued to pursue us frontliners to get vaccinated.

“I decided to be vaccinated, as we are also in the high risk category. I urge every eligible individual to get vaccinated to avoid any serious complications.”