31-year-old Farha Niloufer, a government doctor from Gajwel district of Telangana, passed away due to COVID-19 a week after childbirth. She succumbed to the disease at Princess Esra Hospital in the old city of Hyderabad on May 13.
The pediatrician served at the government-run Area Hospital in Gajwel. Her colleagues and friends say Farha continued working during the pandemic and did not avail maternity leave despite their suggestions.
Known for her dedication, Farha worked in the out-patient department and was also on COVID-19 vaccination duty. About 10 days ago, she tested positive for the virus and was admitted to the private hospital in Hyderabad.
Dr Farha did her MBBS from Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences and MD in Paediatrics from Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad. An Assistant Professor in pediatrics, she was posted as a Clinical Associate at Area Hospital in Gajwel.
The young doctor's death has shocked the medical fraternity. According to Hima Bindu, Professor, Kakatiya Medical College, Warangal, Dr Farha died of COVID-19 related complications. She was put on a ventilator three days ago.
"She was very talented, dynamic and an energetic doctor. She was a very dedicated pediatrician," says Hima Bindu.
Dr Farha's colleagues at Gajwel Hospital say that they had advised her to avail maternity leave but that she disagreed with their suggestions, citing that the hospital needed her services during the pandemic time.
Telangana has so far lost 21 doctors to COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic.
Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association, an organisation working for reforms in the healthcare sector especially in rural areas of Telangana, has demanded ex gratia compensation for all healthcare workers who succumbed to COVID-19 in the line of duty.
The Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, had told the Parliament session in February this year that 162 healthcare staff including doctors, nurses, and ASHA workers had died across the country. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) rubbished these figures, and had at the time pegged the deaths among healthcare staff to be over 700.
(With IANS Inputs)