by Ivy Karen B. Romero, MD, FPOGS, FPSMFM, FPSUOG
Year 2020, the year that we will never forget. We were challenged in all aspects – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually as the whole world, including our country, was struck with the Covid-19 pandemic. Millions got sick, lost their loved ones, lost their jobs and even suffered from anxiety and depression. Many of our colleagues have fallen and failed in the war against the unforeseen enemy. We feared for our safety. We feared for our lives. We feared for our future.
Our lives were also put on hold as the whole country was placed on quarantine. We could not go out as much as we would want to. Staying at home is the key to safety. As healthcare workers, what do we do? We were torn between doing our duty to our patients and safeguarding ourselves from getting infected. Do we still continue holding clinics? Will we still see patients for ultrasound? How will we fight this novel virus which we do not even know about? We were at a loss on how to deal with the health crisis we were faced. What do we do now?
Amidst all the chaos, cognizant to the immediate needs of our colleagues, the Philippine Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (PSMFM) 2020 Board of Trustees, led by our then President, Dr. Marjorie I. Santos, in cooperation with the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), came up with special projects namely:
- Covid-19 and Pregnancy: A Guide to MFM specialists and General Obstetric Practitioners – released on March 27, 2020
- Covid-19 and Pregnancy: Interim Guidelines on Labor and Delivery for MFM Specialists and General Obstetric Practitioners — released in April 2020
- Guidelines on Preparing the Workplace for Covid-19 during the Post Peak and Post Pandemic Period — released in May 2020
Copies of these were provided to every POGS and PSMFM member. The sole purpose of which was to provide guidance in planning for the delivery of health care in the OB-GYN setting during the Covid-19 pandemic. POGS also collaborated with PSMFM and other specialty and sub-specialty societies such as the Philippine Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (PIDSOG), Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine (PSNM), and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP). Together, they formulated algorithms in the screening and management of Covid-19 in pregnancy and the newborn. Thanks to the combined efforts of these societies, clinicians were now armed with a weapon to fight this pandemic. We were not left in the dark as to how we would manage our patients infected with the virus.
This is the reason why Dr. Christia S. Padolina, 2020 POGS President, awarded a Presidential Citation to PSMFM, acknowledging the society’s dedication and commitment in providing expertise in the formulation of policies and guidelines for clinicians on the Obstetrical management of patients with Covid-19 infection. This was given on November 14, 2020 during the 2020 POGS Hybrid Annual Convention at the Grand Hyatt Manila, BGC, Taguig.
The combined efforts of our PSMFM 2020 Board of Trustees were indeed remarkable as we have shed light in the management of Covid-19 pregnant patients. Once again, we, the PSMFM, have proven that working together towards a common vision is the way to succeed, as Helen Keller once said: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”