Health Workers Sacrificing Their Lives: when a frail socio-economic and under-prepared health system meets a pandemic

Health Workers Sacrificing Their Lives: when a frail socio-economic and under-prepared health system meets a pandemic

The fight to eradicate COVID-19 pandemic remains a global health security threat thus demanding solidarity of everyone: leaders (governmental & non-governmental), citizens, compatriots, health workers, and youths cognizant of building an eco-friendly, equity world. Besides acting as a poverty multiplier, they forced families in extreme poverty-they hit the poorest the hardest. This pandemic cause by COVID-19 has been the world’s second most challenging crisis since the Second World War, Climate change being the worst since the evolution/ creation of mankind. Although we live in an age in which crises are lifted to the global scale; populism, inequalities, gender imbalance, land/environmental degradation, and climatic catastrophic uncertainties, drought, conflicts, economic woes, and public health threats, these crises also demands a global-local collaborative cohesiveness into the business-as-usual concept and to rethink our steps ahead. The consequences of these impacts are seen in our underprepared health and economic systems- exposing the continent (Africa) the most.

According to Arthur Wyns, a Climate change researcher at WHO, “There are, to a certain degree, parallels that can be drawn between the current COVID-19 pandemic and some of the other contemporary crises our world is facing. All require a global-to-local response and long-term thinking; all need to be guided by science and need to protect the most vulnerable among us, and all require the political will to make fundamental changes when faced with existential risks,” he quoted.

While it is true that the pandemic is deadly, there are to a greater extent a deeper understanding of the ties that bind us to a global stage, a lesson drawn from this pandemic and it’s relationship to climate change; health security threats, including climate change, demands a well-resourced health system with a vibrant supportive health force.

As His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, has joined the bandwagon of farsighted leaders, especially in Africa in proposing measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through a lockdown and has submitted also, before the Liberian senate, a remedial concept paper to cover Food support for affected households; electricity and water support; small/petty traders loan programs; government domestic debt programs; tax policies and administrative stimulus, it is in my fervent hope that these measures or puffer solutions benefit the large poor masses affected by the “stay home” order or the pandemic, as these citizens depend mostly on a square meal per day which is narrowly won through daily labor/ hustle. This, in my belief, will not only protect their health but improve an eco-friendly environment

Notwithstanding, the crises demand protocols that cannot be breached if we are to restore sanity, trust, and good prognostic outcome. Resources consumed should be equivalent to goods and services delivered sustainably. Health workers should be prioritized as first-hand responders during this crisis; equip hospitals and staff to be proactive, include Civil Society Organizations during this fight; they prove their worth during the Ebola epidemic, involved, and equip local stakeholders.

Notwithstanding, the crises demands protocols that cannot be breechif we are to restore sanity, trust and good prognostic outcome. Resources consumed should be equivalent to goods and services delivered sustainably. Health workers should be prioritized as first hand responders during this crisis; equip hospitals and staffs to be proactive, include Civil Society Organizations during this fight; they prove their worth during the Ebola epidemic, involved and equip local stakeholders. 

PS: Leaving out the aforementioned groups will be detrimental to the state in this time of crisis.
Health workers sacrificing their lives at the frontline, patients surviving this disease as well as families of confirmed cases suffered Stigmatization and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), these conditions required the care of trained Mental health Clinicians and support staffs.

Improving awareness and sensitization is our best option as we strive to build a sustainable health care delivery system. As a means of contributing and finding solutions to the crisis, I have, through Healthy Life International and Express Mobile Clinic, two local nongovernment and nonpolitical organizations operating under the laws of
Liberia in the areas of Health, Climate Action, Gender Equality, and Quality Education rally a team of Medical Consultants, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Nurse-aid, Environmentalists, and Mid-Wives to buttress government’s effort in taking the right message to the populace in this grief-stricken period. The organizations were involved in conducting health, environmental, and gender equality related lectures and workshops at schools, churches, mosques, and other public gatherings. We have also had series of radio programs educating the public on the catastrophic impact of climate change, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Sickle Cell Disease, and currently the Coronavirus Disease. Recently, we successfully conducted training workshops for over 75 volunteers on “What you need to know and about COVID-19,” and have since been a lead voice in carrying on massive awareness in semiliterate and densely populated communities within Montserrado County. Africa deserves better, we are never too young to lead!…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isaac Favorite Barcon is a License Physician Assistant from the
Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts; holds a diploma in Mental
Health; a candidate for BSC in Biology with emphasis in Medicine
from the University of Liberia; a climate justice, human right and land
right advocate; and a social entrepreneur. He can be contacted via the
following means:
Email: [email protected]/
[email protected]
+231888669945/775033498

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