Health professionals: the frontline in the fight against the Covid-19

coronavirus hospital

(United Nations COVID-19 Response, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Bruna Giaretta Ventorin, a 21 years old medical student and Ms. Amanda Raminelli Morceli, a 22 years old medical student from Unicesumar – Brazil. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In face of the Coronavirus pandemic that is currently being experienced by the world, it is of utmost importance to ensure the well-being of health professionals, since they are the front line in the fight against the new virus.

When analyzing the data collected by the Superior Institute of Health until March 17th, 2020, 2.269 health professionals were contaminated in Italy, representing 8.3% of the total affected in the country. Moreover, 17 doctors have been killed by Covid-19 since February, the month of the beginning of the epidemic in Italy. It should be noted that these numbers have not reached the plateau yet, as the virus is on its ascending curve and, that way, it will still contaminate a significant number of people.

In Brazil, the number of cases shows a sharper growth pattern than the Italian one, since on the twentieth day of epidemic in Italy there were 3 confirmed cases, while in Brazil, also on the twentieth day, 291 cases were registered, according to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo. Besides that, when comparing the italian population, which has more than 60 million people, with the brazilian population, around 210 million people, it is deduced that the number of affected people in Brazil will be even higher if the measures of prevention and social isolation recommended by the government are not respected by the people.

Despite the recommendation of social isolation, the health professionals cannot be released from their services. Therefore, they are more exposed to Covid-19. For this reason, these professionals must be supported with the minimum working conditions, which involve the provision of personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, apron, eye or face protector), alcohol gel and liquid soap, so that they can protect their health when assisting patients infected with Covid-19.

In addition to that, measures to control transmission in the assistance environment must be taken, such as hand hygiene before and after touching the patient and surfaces close to the patient, desinfecting equipment and cleaning the environment with sodium hypochlorite.

Moreover, it is up to the population to be aware of remaining in social isolation and to seek health care first by telephone, to obtain the necessary guidance about the service that they should seek according to the symptoms they present. This attitude aims to avoid the overcrowding and overload of the health service, which is responsible for increasing the transmission of the virus and and exposing the population and health professionals to infection.

All things considered, it is extremely important that the population be conscious of the real need of respect the basic recommendations that are being disseminated at all times by social media, which involve hand hygiene and social isolation. In addition, the health professionals must take the above precautions to prevent the spread of infection and, thus, contain the viral transmission in a different and more efficient way than in Italy, since if these measures are taken early, it increases the chance of success in stabilizing the disease in Brazil.

References:

  1. ALVES, Gabriel. (2020). Twentieth day of coronavirus in Brazil is worse than in Italy. Taken from: (https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/equilibrioesaude/2020/03/vigesimo-dia-de-coronavirus-no-brasil-e-pior-que-o-da-italia.shtml, accessed on 21 March 2020);
  2. Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. (2020). Population of Brazil. Taken from: (https://www.ibge.gov.br/apps/populacao/projecao/box_popclock.php, accessed on 21 March 2020);
  3. Brazilian Institute for Patient Safety, (2020). COVID-19 – In times of a pandemic, health professionals must be protected. Taken from: (https://www.segurancadopaciente.com.br/protocolo-diretrizes/covid-19-em-momentos-de-pandemia-e-preciso-proteger-os-profissionais-da-saude/, accessed on 21 March 2020).
  4. Brazilian Society of Family and Community Medicine. (2020). As health professionals, they must protect themselves from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Taken from: (https://www.sbmfc.org.br/noticias/profissionais-de-saude-e-corona-virus/, accessed on 21 March 2020);
  5. GODOY, Marcelo. (2020). Italy creates list of doctors killed in the coronavirus war. Taken from: (https://internacional.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,italia-cria-lista-de-medicos-mortos-na-guerra-ao-coronavirus,70003241386, accessed on 21 March 2020);
  6. Ministry of Health. (2020). New Coronavirus: Assistance to people with suspected infection with the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in primary care. Taken from: (https://egestorab.saude.gov.br/image/?file=20200210_N_EmktCoronaVirusPopV2_9220990263189084795.pdf, accessed on: 21 March 2020)

About the author

Bruna Giaretta Ventorin is 21 years old medical student from Unicesumar – Brazil. She is the LPRD (Local Publications and Research Director) of the IFMSA Brazil in Unicesumar and vice president of the Angiology and Vascular Surgery Academic League (LAMACIV). She participates in the Intensive Care Medicine League (LAMIM) and in the Academic League of vulnerable populations health.

Amanda Raminelli Morceli is a 22 years old medical student from Unicesumar,
Brazil. She is a president of the League of Angiology and Vascular Surgery
(LAMACIV) and a member of the board of the General Surgery and
Anesthesiology league (LACGAM). She is also in the academic league of
vulnerable populations health and a member of the scientific research nucleus,
from IFSMA Brasil Unicesumar.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘At risk’ Mediterranean forests make ‘vital contributions’ to development

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

Innovation for a smarter world: ITU Telecom World 2018

Will the Greek economy ever come back to growth?

NHS: A great healthcare system but how accessible is it to migrants?

Commission and EIB provide CureVac with a €75 million financing for vaccine development and expansion of manufacturing

UN chief welcomes Taliban’s temporary truce announcement, encourages all parties to embrace ‘Afghan-owned peace’

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

Rich economies not a promise of education equality, new report finds

Women’s empowerment ‘essential to global progress’ says Guterres, marking International Day

Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030

In Venezuela, Bachelet calls on Government to release prisoners, appeals for ‘bold steps towards compromise’

How the United States is falling in love with secondhand clothes

The impacts of working conditions on the quality of the healthcare system

Central American migrants must be protected, urge UN experts

At UN, Yemen Foreign Minister demands end to ‘Iranian-Houthi coup d’etat’

A Sting Exclusive: “Digital and mobile technologies are helping to achieve an economic success in Spain”, the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society Víctor Calvo-Sotelo reveals to the Sting at Mobile World Congress 2015

Greater investment in family-friendly policies critical to support breastfeeding – UNICEF

Health care’s digital times

This AI tool helps healthcare workers look after their mental health

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 9 April

The French army is enlisting sci-fi writers to predict the future

UNICEF chief hopes 2020 will be ‘a year of peace’ for Syria’s children

Conflict and climate change challenge sustainable development effort: UN report

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

This is why many young people have no access to proper education

The 4 biggest challenges to our higher education model – and what to do about them

Celebrating Multilingualism Day at the EP – where 24 languages meet

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns deadly attack near Kabul airport

18th EU Eco-Innovation Forum in Barcelona shows the way for Europe’s new Environmental policy

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

Quality of air in Bucharest-Romania: is it fog or is it smog?

Mexico City is banning single-use plastics

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Niger population’s suffering ‘increasing with each passing month’: UN Refugee Agency

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

EU budget: Reinforcing Europe’s cultural and creative sectors

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of DSME by HHIH

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) on the arrest of Turkish Medical Association leaders

Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

Africa cannot afford to lose doctors to COVID-19

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

Sassoli to EU governments: Rise to the challenge. Find new shared ways to finance our recovery

EU-Japan relations: Foreign Affairs MEPs back Strategic Partnership Agreement

Here’s how blockchain could stop corrupt officials from stealing school lunches

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s