Mental health of medical personnel during this period of Covid-19

Health care workers are more at risk as they are the front line workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. They are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection and burnouts. Challenges they face include, psychological stress, fatigue, pathogen exposure, long working hours, stigma, physical and Psychological violence.

Due to stigma surrounding the disease and the increasing rate of patients, dead rates, difficulties in acquiring a cure and the helpless nature of the situation, the mental state of health workers is affected. As a result, jobs are abandoned and some even go as far as committing suicide.

In NewYork USA, a Doctor took her own life due to the covid-19 progression. She felt helpless due to the increasing number of cases and lack of treatment. Source:https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_z_4DXh_Qw/?igshid=1fqifspo78tdrource:

In Cameroon, Health personnel are being attacked by families for declaring their love ones Covid-19 patients. Again families are dissatisfied with the area and manner in which their love ones are buried by the state. Reasons being that, they will like to bury in their respective villages. Source:https://www.voanews.com/africa/cameroon-doctors-ask-protection-attacks-covid-carriers-increase.

The world health organisation has put out an interim guide which highlights the rights and responsibilities of health workers including the specific measures needed to protect occupational safety and health.These rights are to be implemented by governments through the various health units. Putting in place of these measures might help in maintaining the mental health of Medical personnel and better treatment of patients. The rights of health workers include;

• The provision of protective devises to health workers;
• The provision of training to health workers in dealing with the pandemic;
• Familiarize personnel with update of Covid-19 spread and prevention measures;
• Provide appropriate security measures to personnel to ensure their safety;
• Advice health workers on self-assessment, symptom reporting and staying at home when ill;
• Provide access to mental health and counselling resources;
• Provide a blame-free environment in which health workers can report on incidents, such as exposures to blood or bodily fluids from the respiratory system, or cases of violence, and adopt measures for immediate follow up, including support to victims;
• Refresher training on infection prevention and control (IPC);
• Training on the use, putting on, taking off and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE);
• follow established occupational safety and health procedures, avoid exposing others to health and safety risks, and participate in employer-provided occupational safety and health training;

Responsibilities of frontline health workers include:
• Treat patients with respect, compassion, and dignity;
• Maintain patient confidentiality;
• Swiftly follow established public health reporting procedures of suspected and confirmed cases;
• Provide or reinforce accurate public health information to concerned people who have neither symptoms nor risk;
• Put on, use, take off, and dispose of PPE properly;
• Self-monitor for signs of illness and self-isolate and report illness to managers.
• Inform management if they are experiencing signs of undue stress or mental health challenges that require supportive interventions;
• Report to their immediate supervisor any situation which they have reasonable justification to believe presents an imminent and serious danger to life or health

Read more on who.int/publications-detail/coronavirus-disease-(covid-19)-outbreak-rights-roles-and-responsibilities-of-health-workers-including-key-considerations-for-occupational-safety-and-health

Are you a medical personnel? What do you do to take care of your mental health during this Covid-19 pandemic?

Do not suffer in silence, we are offering free psychotherapeutic support to medical personnels in Cameroon who reach out to us

Kindly email us at hope@hope4abusedbattered.com
Visit our website www.hope4abusedbattered.com
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