« We will not be infected by our patients « 

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Health care providers across the globe are at the forefront of the battle against the COVID-19 health crisis .

Medical doctors , nurses, paramedics , pharmacists , public health administrators and many other health professionals are caring for COVID-19 patients at the risk of their own lives.

These selfless health workers, making huge sacrifices to cure patients, and preserve lives, have become a vulnerable backbone.

Many have caught the deadly virus, and died at the battle front, amongst them, Cameroon’s Dr. Michel Tchouamo.

“I now live in the hospital  “

Dr. Kemme Kemme Marileine, head of the Treatment and Isolation Unit-TIU at Yaounde’s Central Hospital has taken up residence at the hospital since the country’s first cases were reported on March 6.

Dr. Kemme  Kemme Yaounde Central hospital’s TIU head

To protect their families from contracting the highly infectious respiratory disease, she and colleagues, found a new home .

“We decided to live in the hospital to protect our loved ones, families and colleagues.”

But some of the fallouts of the pandemic are weighing on Dr. Kemme’s family ties.

” My relationship with my family has completely changed since I don’t live with them anymore. Nowadays, we communicate through the phone. Since the pandemic began, I see my family rarely “.

Health care providers at risk

Staying in the hospital is not safer for the medic either .The risk of catching the virus is very high, especially with reported shortages in Personal Protective Equipment , PPE.

” Our job is very risky because one needs a complete PPE to work. We must treat patients without getting sick. However, our team is working hard, and we will not be infected by our patients”.

Dr. Kemme  Kemme clad  in a complete PPE

The shortage of Personal Protective Equipment is not peculiar to Cameroon. Many countries including the US, and UK have also reported shortages in the protective gears .

Some nurses in the US also called on President Trump to improve working conditions; the PPE was amongst their requests. One of the nurses later decided to quit her job.

Recently, nurses in Zimbabwe protested against the absence of PPE .

In reaction to increasing safety concerns from health care professionals, UN rights expert , Baskut Tuncak recently added his voice to calls for their protection .

Cameroon’s Public Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie also promised to improve safety measures for these health care professionals.

Since the start of the health crisis in Cameroon, the Minister has repeatedly paid glowing tribute to health professionals as they battle the deadly COVID-19 with resilience.

 

Kathy Neba Sina 

Cet article est apparu en premier sur http://www.crtv.cm/2020/04/covid-19-we-will-not-be-infected-by-our-patients/

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