Zimbabwe Heath Workers’ Demands Of PPEs is a right not a Privilege

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Doctors and nurses in Zimbabwe’s public hospitals have received unfair criticism for asking the government to give them personal protective equipment so they can safely treat suspected corona-virus patients.

In a report from Italy, ninety-four doctors have died of corona-virus, the Italian association of doctors said Tuesday. Twenty-six nurses have also died after contracting the virus, the press officer of the Italian federation of nurses said, adding that there were 6,549 infected nurses in total.

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As of Monday, the total number of healthcare workers infected by corona-virus is 12,681, according to the Italian Institute of Health.

94 doctors and 26 nurses in Italy have died of coronavirus

At least 21 doctors have died in the Philippines due to the novel corona-virus, local media reported on Wednesday, “Doctors who died due to the corona-virus was primarily due to patients lying about their condition or exposure history,” local broadcaster GMT quoted Rustico Jimenez, the president of the Private Hospitals Association in the country, as saying.

So far, 740 medical staff in the Philippines contracted the corona-virus and are under 14-day self-quarantine after suspected exposure, said the association.

Coronavirus: 21 doctors die in Philippines

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), guidance for health workers; Health workers are at the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak response and as such are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. Hazards include pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma, and physical and psychological violence. This document highlights the rights and responsibilities of health workers, including the specific measures needed to protect occupational safety and health.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association have been on record saying all they have been asked to work without the essential PPEs. “We need personal protective equipment for our doctors and nurses, and for everyone who is going to be working in the health sector, or anyone who is going to be in contact with anyone who is going to be affected by this coronavirus,”

Dr. Patrick Lahai Kamara of Liberia wears the standard World Health Organization protective gear.

 “Where we are right now is not a position that we wanted, and as soon as our protection as health workers is guaranteed, we are ready to serve the Zimbabwean population. We are ready to fight this coronavirus.”

The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) had similar complaints, citing a lack of protective clothing and risk allowance. WHO has also acknowledged that, “Nurses are on the frontline fighting COVID-19 but “an alarming failure” in the global supply of protective clothing and new coronavirus tests – together with “unprecedented” overwork linked to global staff shortages – have highlighted how vulnerable they are, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police have also been accused of deploying the police without protective clothing. The public is concerned that the police may be aiding the spread of COVID-19 by patrolling streets and bundling those defaulting on the 21-day lockdown in crammed trucks where social distancing is not observed. The law enforcers are also working without risk allowance despite the high risk they are face with in enforcing social distancing in throughout the country.

Till today the Zimbabwe Health workers and the Police are still working without PPEs and the Government is urged to take the safety of their workforce seriously by providing PPEs and RISK ALLOWANCE/INSURANCE to these heroes of our days.

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