Running out of PPEs, St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia calls on public to assist their efforts during Covid-19 pandemic

St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia members have donated their time and effort, helping others in the fight against Covid-19. — Picture courtesy of St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia
St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia members have donated their time and effort, helping others in the fight against Covid-19. — Picture courtesy of St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia

PETALING JAYA, April 30 — Ever since her first voluntary duty at a St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia (SJAM) blood donation drive, Tee Ke Ran has actively sought to help others in need.

Recently, the 22-year-old was among the 203 SJAM members who volunteered to be part of the medical auxiliary service for Covid-19 (#OpsMASCOV), to support and provide assistance to those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The non-governmental organisation extends its support to Health Ministry hospitals, health clinics and accident hotspots in eight different locations situated in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Johor.

However, with efforts still ongoing, Tee said in a press release that she was not afraid of contracting the virus, but instead concerned that SJAM would struggle to keep up their continuous support to frontliners and medical institutions due to a lack of funds.

The third-year medical student said that her voluntary work at SJAM convinced her to pursue a medical career. — Picture courtesy of St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia
The third-year medical student said that her voluntary work at SJAM convinced her to pursue a medical career. — Picture courtesy of St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia

“Proper procedure, precautionary measures and prior training set my fears aside,” said Tee.

“My worry is that with the extension of the movement control order and #OpsMASCOV, the supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) may not suffice for us.”

With hospitals primarily occupied with treating Covid-19, all 230 SJAM volunteers have been painstakingly helping out those in need of medical assistance, working on eight to 12-hour rotating shifts.

To date, SJAM has utilised 27 ambulances to handle 59 emergency cases, 30 non-emergency cases and 48 inter-facility transfers.

Tee has been on duty every day since the beginning of #OpsMASCOV on April 13 as she detailed just what goes into a day of volunteer work.

She said that apart from checking their own health condition and temperature daily, SJAM members also clean and disinfect the ambulances after every case handled.

SJAM members sterilise the ambulance after every case. — Picture courtesy of St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia
SJAM members sterilise the ambulance after every case. — Picture courtesy of St John’s Ambulance of Malaysia

Common cases they have received include motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, trauma cases or patient transfers.

In order to maintain their efforts, SJAM secretary-general Hoo We Tak has called on the support from the public to help them get by.

“Ordinary Malaysians who volunteer with SJAM are trained with first aid skills in preparation for times like this. As an NGO depending solely on public funds, we have stretched our limits in several initiatives to fight Covid-19,” he said.

For those interested in donating to SJAM, all monetary donations can be made to St John’s Ambulans Malaysia; CIMB bank account number 8000-41-555-2.

Donations of PPEs can also be made and arranged for collection to SJAM by e-mailing [email protected]

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