• /
  • Print

Superwoman continuing the good fight

Samples being tested in order to return PCR test results urgently to infected persons. (Photo supplied by Kasandra Forde)
By Dwayne Gibbs on Tuesday, 28 September, 2021 at 08:19 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for almost two years and has impacted all of us tremendously. Those individuals working within the healthcare system and essential services have been impacted to a much higher degree.

Kasandra Forde is a Medical Laboratory Technologist at the Best Dos Santos Public Health Laboratory in Bridgetown, St. Michael. Before the pandemic, she had been working at Best Dos Santos for four years and her days were typically spent testing samples for dengue, chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and hanta virus. As of March 2020, Kasandra’s life took a dramatic turn.

“Now that we are dealing with the pandemic, the molecular department has to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” was what Forde said when asked about the impact COVID-19 has had on her department.

She also said: “When we have a surge or spike in COVID-19 positive cases it's extremely stressful because there is an increase in the number of samples sent to the lab which are expected to be processed within a 24-hour period. My life has changed so much since March 2020. I have gone from working eight hours a day to sometimes 12 hours or more and most weeks working six days.”

The toll the expectations of her job have taken on her since March last year has been immense and with cases continuing to rise, it means there is no reprieve in sight.
Forde said most days she feels drained from a lack of sleep and is always under pressure. Infected people are dependent on PCR test results in order to be released from quarantine or to travel, and the expected turnaround time is 24 hours. This means Forde often has to forfeit her lunch break in order to meet deadlines. The level of sacrifice is high as she also has an eight-year-old son who mainly stays with his grandmother for the time being.

When asked if there was anything she wanted the public of Barbados to know, she said: “We are doing our part every single day as the main laboratory on the island testing for COVID-19. We work tirelessly to ensure that we send out good quality results and we will continue to do so in this fight against COVID-19.”


a long time ago
These pages were produced b...
a long time ago
BCC is offering courses thi...
a long time ago
A dismal atmosphere covered...
a long time ago
The Barbados Community Coll...
a long time ago
Students of the Barbados Co...