First imported case of Covid-19 virus reported
Business Continuity Plan (BCP) activated to ensure continuity of care delivery
Multiple safe management and infection control measures were put in place
Staggered patient dialysis timings implemented to avoid cross contamination
NKF staff split into different teams for better emergency response
Telemedicine and telecare introduced to limit cross institutional movement of personnel and ensure patient care was not disrupted with concerted and coordinated efforts between NKF and hospitals
Transition Phase to Covid-19 Resilience
National centre continued running to serve patients in need, with more than 2,800 dialysis treatments
Covid cluster at Upper Boon Keng dialysis centre emerged. NKF worked with the Ministry of Health to
monitor the situation closely and ensure that the necessary safety and precautionary measures were
taken to curb further transmission. All possible support and assistance were provided to the
patients and their families.
All dialysis patients required to perform Antigen Rapid Test (ART) before entering the dialysis centres to minimise risk of the virus transmission
NKF plays critical role in delivery of essential dialysis
For two years and eight months during the Covid pandemic, NKF spared no effort in ensuring kidney failure patients continued to receive safe and crucial life-saving dialysis treatment and care in an uninterrupted way, as the consequence of missing dialysis would be deadly. The whole 1,000-strong NKF team worked tirelessly and steadfastly from Feb 2020 to Sep 2022, and delivered more than 1.5 million dialysis treatments.
Admin staff worked remotely to provide backend support to front-facing staff
Compliance with mask wearing made mandatory as a safety measure
Covid situation remained highly fluid. More than 1,000 staff worked round the clock to recalibrate,
tighten up and adapt to the many safe management measures such as exercising social responsibility
and safe entry, carrying out deep cleaning of dialysis centres and stopping provision of food and
beverages inside the dialysis centres to prevent mask removal during dialysis treatments.
Numerous welfare and mental well-being support were rendered to staff and patients, so that we are better equipped for this long fight.
Peak of Covid Omicron variant with 20,000 to 30,000 infected cases daily in the community
Total of 712 NKF dialysis patients infected with the virus
NKF's designated national dialysis centre worked tirelessly to deliver 950 dialysis treatments within 28 days
To ensure no one was left out, we even opened dialysis centres on Sundays to operate special shifts where staff went beyond the call of duty to serve 57 patients
Mask-wearing made non-mandatory in most places, but we continued to implement it within the dialysis
Safe Reopening (Phase 1, 2 & 3)
We stepped forward to serve as a national centre for all dialysis patients under quarantine
National vaccination rolled out to protect everyone against the disease, and minimise the risk of transmissions and severity of symptoms
Living with Covid has been especially challenging for dialysis patients and their families due to their weaker immune systems. What is more worrying is that if they are infected, they would likely require intensive medical care as many also have underlying medical conditions. There was no room for relaxation of any safety and precautionary measures.We are proud that we have made it. We lost friends and comrades, but we have emerged stronger with many lessons learnt. It gave us an opportunity to rethink our fundamentals while unlocking new possibilities to serve and protect our patients in future crises.
Serving as a national dialysis centre to care for all dialysis patients
While we remained agile in providing uninterrupted dialysis treatment to our patients at all our
dialysis centres, we continued to stretch ourselves to support Covid-I9 dialysis patients from different
dialysis providers. When there was a shortage of slots in the national dialysis centres, NKF staff
turned things around quickly to treat patients in their original dialysis centres and even responded
selflessly to the call to serve on their non-working Sundays and operate special dialysis shifts, so
that no Covid-I9 dialysis patient was left out.
Over 2,800 dialysis treatments carried out to support Covid-19 dialysis patients nationally.
Safeguarding patients with stringent safety measures
We continued to calibrate our safety measures in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines to
ensure that our infection control measures remained at the highest standard, and that we were quick to
adjust to the necessary changes to processes, procedures and the work environment to ensure continuity of
care to our patients.
Ensuring continuity of patients’ care needs through Telecare and Telemedicine
We continued to reach out to patients through telemedicine and telecare as and when needed, while we progressively resumed with face-to-face care and consultation so that patients’ care needs are not disrupted. NKF’s team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals continued to journey with patients by adopting this hybrid approach in providing all-round quality care to meet patients’ medical, nutritional and psychosocial needs in these extraordinary times.
Total number of life-saving dialysis treatments delivered over 2 years & 8 months during the pandemic
Almost half of our patients, 2,012 of them, had been infected with the virus, and we were saddened to lose 57 lives despite our all-out efforts to safeguard them
To tide patients and family members through difficult economic times of the pandemic, about half a million dollars worth of food vouchers were provided
Total number of volunteers mobilised at dialysis centres islandwide to assist with in-centre duties and render care. We are deeply grateful for their compassion and dedication.
“At the time when the Covid-19 situation was constantly evolving, as an infection control nurse, we were always on high alert in getting the situation under control and planning for worst case scenarios, so as to minimise infection risk to patients and staff within the dialysis centres.”
Ms Faezah Binte Mohamad Adam - Nurse
“Every day was a challenge. I need to plan, coordinate and make sure that my team and I were able to deliver vital medical supplies to the dialysis centres.”
Mr Nor Azhar Othman - who is part of the logistics team
Mr Shashitharen Ambalaka - who has been practicing mindfulness meditation on a daily basis after his stroke attack, which helps to clear his mind. In the absence of the regular physical interaction brought about by the Covid-19 situation, we reached out to patients who may be at risk of social isolation and loneliness, and kept them engaged for their physical and mental well-being by initiating a Mindfulness Meditation Support Group.
“You cannot control what life throws at you, good or bad. But you can control your attitude towards what happens to you. Meditation, my family and peer support are my guiding light, helping me to stop worrying about things I cannot control.”