Nurse Helps Mitigate Spread of COVID-19 on Bioko Island

August 26, 2021

Group of expats who helped with the pandemic response in Equatorial Guinea

Five international medical staff who recently finished their assignment to Equatorial Guinea and helped with the COVID-19 response on Bioko Island.

From left to right: Dr. Raul Chuquiyauri Haro, nurses Sonia Torres, Llency Flores, Carolina Gutiérrez, and Alba Ngaah Bosío.

Carolina Gutiérrez was a nurse at the primary hospital in Malabo, the capital city on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, soon found herself on the frontline when cases of COVID-19 rapidly increased on the island in 2020.

“The precarious situation of the Malabo hospital became increasingly apparent due to the insufficiency of medical staff and resources, which made me wonder what would become of this beautiful island once the pandemic hit in full force,” she said, reminiscing.

In July of 2020, Carolina was introduced to MCD Global Health, which had established its presence on Bioko Island since 2004 with the goal of eventually eliminating malaria from the island.

“As soon as I began working [at MCD], I noticed a difference between [MCD] and my previous employer. That shift restored the joy and enthusiasm I had when I first arrived to the island,” she said.

She recounts how her supervisor, Antonio Roca, “listened to his team and worked to produce solutions to any issues we might have” as well as how there was a “respectful team atmosphere” that invited the “freedom to express your opinions with your colleagues.”

For Equatoguinean nurses who work for MCD, “they are set apart by the level of preparedness and dedication to their role as health care professionals.”

Carolina receiving a gift for her assistance in responding to COVID on Bioko Island.

“MCD provided my colleagues and I with medical training in October 2020 in order to be able to execute our duties at the highest level possible,” Carolina recounted (image at right).

The nurses, including Carolina, spent several days under the instruction of certified, top-level trainers from Puerto Rico to earn our Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Basic Life Support certifications.

“And in the midst of a pandemic, it was an incredible experience,” Carolina said. “MCD makes us feel fulfilled and valued as individuals and frontline medical professionals. I feel confident when working with COVID-19 because despite difficulties, we can count on an incredible network of support to combat this pandemic.”

pandemic response
equatorial guinea