Multidisciplinary Approach by UiTM Medicine for Tackling COVID-19

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Thousands of healthcare workers serving as front liners of care at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) are facing a substantial risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. To resolve this issue, the Hospital UiTM director, Professor Dr Sazzli Shahlan Kasim, immediately established a multidisciplinary team, COVID-19 Operating Committee, to coordinate and implement all COVID-19 related decisions.

This strategy aims to safeguard healthcare workers and students, as well as the health care delivery system in UiTM, to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 infections in the communities working in Hospital UiTM, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Associate Professor Dr Zaliha Ismail, head of Department of Public Health Medicine, was appointed as chief of the COVID-19 Command Centre (Bilik Gerakan COVID-19 Unit Cawangan Selangor, UiTM) located at the Faculty of Medicine, UiTM, alongside with public health medicine specialists for the purpose of case investigation, contact tracing and providing expert advice on public health guidance for the management of HCWs exposed to COVID-19.

Several academic disciplines have been participating actively in the team. The Coronavirus Mobile Test Unit (COMBAT) ensures arranging fast-lane service for suspected COVID-19 HCWs and students to undergo nasopharyngeal swab testing.

The Laboratory team helps in coordinating and ensuring the prompt release of the COVID-19 test reports to accelerate subsequent control measures, while the Occupational and safety health unit conducts the risk assessment besides ensuring safe and healthful working conditions.

The Epidemiologists aid in conducting situational analysis, contact tracing, data management in providing a regular update on COVID-19 statistics among healthcare workers and students. The infectious diseases team plays an important role in strategizing infection prevention and control measures, also conducting training on donning/doffing, handwashing and personal protective equipment wear.

The Primary care medicine specialists, emergency physicians and respiratory physicians help in triaging and managing COVID-19 cases. The Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists help by providing mental health support through a dedicated psychosocial hotline.

Finally, the Corporate Communication team delivers the right information and continuously reminds the healthcare workers to always adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures.

This multidisciplinary collaborative approach acts as a shield to protect the healthcare workers, students, communities, and the health care ecosystem in UiTM.