Allegiance to ‘Hippocratic Oath’ comes first, say doctors in Nagaland

On National Doctors’ Day, The Morung Express talked to a few doctors in the interior parts of the state on the challenges and motivations of working in the health sector, especially during this crisis


Atono Tsükrü Kense
Kohima | July 1

During this unprecedented public health emergency, doctors have been manning the frontlines working round the clock under immense pressure. Despite the challenges, fears, negativity, criticism, separation from home and family, for them, their allegiance to the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ comes first.

On this day as the nation celebrated the National Doctors’ Day to honour their services, The Morung Express spoke to some doctors in the interior parts of the state on the challenges and motivations of working in the health sector, especially during this crisis.

A soon to be father, Medical Officer of PHC Tizit, Dr Methna met his 5-month pregnant wife only twice, as he could not go home after his duty at hospital and quarantine centres. “Since this is her first pregnancy, we have to be together but the situation has put us in this condition,” he said ruefully.

Dr Methna joined the medical professional in 2014 as a contractual doctor and later cleared the NPSC in 2017. He was appointed in the medical department in 2018.

He shared that poor road connectivity, shortage of medicines, poor infrastructure and lack of workforce are some of the challenges in the remote areas during this time of pandemic.

This doctor has a lot on his hands at the moment, as the PHC he is attached with operates 24/7 covering 30 villages and attending to 20-30 deliveries in a month besides attending to COVID-19 duties.

“I have a lot of excitement (to be a father) and pressure going on at the same,” said Dr Methna. However, in spite of the many challenges both at professional front and personal life, Dr Methna said “the trust of the people on us, doctors," motivates him to go on.

"We are not super humans, but the satisfaction we get when we are able to cure or help someone is unparalleled.”

Reminding his fellow doctors of the ‘Hippocratic Oath,’ Dr Methna said “each of us has a responsibility and we have to give our best to serve our people.”

With two decades of experience, Dr Pewezo Khalo said poor telecommunication, lack of manpower, infrastructure and accessibility are the big challenges they face on a daily basis. Dr Khao has been posted in Kiphire since 2017

He however said he enjoyed working in a rural set-up. Seeing the struggles of the people from poor socio-economic background and the dedication with which many of them walk for hours through jungles just to get their children immunized are some of the things that inspire him to work for the people in the village, he added.

Presently at Kohima to visit his wife and children after a gap of two months, Dr Khalo said that amidst anxiety, tension and fear, “We worry for our family but since this our call of duty, we have to sacrifice. Unless there is a sacrifice, there is no way to fulfill our professional duty.” 

Encouraging his peers, he said that “COVID-19 is a global issue - a public health emergency and we have to face the challenges without compromising on anything to fulfill our ethical issue. Keeping in mind the gravity of the disease, we should work very hard and better so that we will be able to overcome the virus.”

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio took to Twitter to express his gratitude to all the doctors. He lauded them for their “relentless service, hard work, sacrifices and commitment throughout the year, especially during these unprecedented times of fighting #COVID19.”

“I wish you all the best of health,” the Chief Minister tweeted.  

Paying his tributes, State Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom also tweeted “The services and sacrifices made by you for our people in providing timey health care, particularly during unprecedented hours of combating the pandemic is truly commendable…”

Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Kesonyü Yhome said that it is heartening to know that the Day is being rediscovered after so many years. He said that all doctors, both public and private practitioners, who practice ethical treatment and render altruistic services deserve appreciation from all quarters.

 “Doctors place their lives in the line every single day and on this day we express our sincere gratitude to all of them especially in these times of grave crises,” he added.  

The Day is annually observed in India on July 1, in honour of the physician, educationist, philanthropist, freedom fighter and politician, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.


Read more: Where would we be without them? Citizens salute doctors