"My initial impulse was prompted after seeing fellow nurses and medical personnel fighting on the front lines and then the deaths of some of my lecturers. Right then and there, it left a deep impact on my heart," Sembiring remarked during a press conference held by the Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19 in Jakarta, Wednesday.
Although the nutritionist did not become a frontline volunteer directly treating patients under monitoring (PDP) or people that tested positive for COVID-19 at the Emergency Hospital, Sembiring said she was ready to serve as a member of the supporting staff that ensures that proper nutritional intake boosts the immune system of medical personnel.
With the body’s immunity levels maintained high, medical personnel can optimally treat those who contracted the disease and patients with PDP status.
Maintaining a heathier immune system is critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is undeniably important for medical workers, who face the risk of disease transmission on a daily basis, she emphasized.
"That is where we, as nutritionists, are particular that the needs of medical workers and patients can be fulfilled," she stated.
Nutritionists serving as volunteers are tasked with ensuring that medical workers and patients receive nutrients from various protein-rich foods, as consumption of protein sources, such as chicken, meat, and fish, can be one of the measures to support the immune system.
Apart from ensuring that dietary intake is modified to be nutrient-dense, the nutritionists volunteering also conduct services surveys to ensure they offer the best services to medical workers and patients, she noted.
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