NIGHT shift nurses at the country’s biggest referral facility, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) spent part of their evening helping patients manage their emotions as Zambia battled Tanzania in their Group F second African Cup of Nations match in San Pedro, Ivory Coast.
Zambia needed a victory against the East African to increase their chances of progressing to the round of 16 but a wave of disappointment swept across the 2000-bed capacity hospital as Simon Msuva put Tanzania ahead in the 11th minute.
Upon noticing the rapid detoriation of mood in some patients, nurses who feared recording depression-induced sudden deaths, stepped in and encouraged them to remain positive as there was plenty of time to equalise.
“When Tanzania scored, people in our ward became very sad such that the nurse noticed and started to speak to the patients advising them not to pay to much attention to the game,” one bedsider who is caring for her hospitalised sister told Kalemba.
Another one narrated that a nurse in another ward had to speak words of encouragement to the patients as Zambia captain Rodrick Kabwe was red carded a minute before half time.
But as Leicester City hitman Patson Daka headed in an equaliser in the 86th minute, the patients joined the rest of the country in the resulting unguarded celebrations.
Again, fearing that some patients would celebrate their way to the land of no return, nurses oncr more got to their feet and cautioned the patients to manage their joy.
“A nurse who looked very scared announced loudly in the ward for people not to get too excited as that wasn’t good their BP (Blood Pressure),” another bedsider narrated to Kalemba.
The medics only had some relief and returned to their normal duties of canulating and administering medication as Benin referee Djindo Louis ended proceedings.
Zambia who last won a game at the AFCON in 2012 will meet with World Cup semifinalists and Group F leaders Morocco on Wednesday night.
Kalemba January 22, 2022