Healthcare workers’ safety: a forgotten necessity

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms Fatina Munawar, a final year medical student at Quaid e Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur, Pakistan. She is 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 writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


While many humanitarians intend to seek welfare of humans, by policy-making or by speaking for their rights, particularly ensuring that fellow human beings get to work in accordance with the principles of ergonomics; many of them, tend to lose sight of the necessity of safety of healthcare workers; this occupation makes 59 million workers around the world susceptible to a variety of noxious circumstances, such as infectious agents e.g the ongoing pandemic of corona virus, chemicals, and so on, that may affect their physical, spiritual and psychological health adversely. (1)

Based on recommendations by ILO and WHO, healthcare workers are all those people who are related in one way or the other to hospitals, sanatoriums, daycare facilities and the personnel appointed for ambulatory medical services: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, accounts assistants, sweepers, to name a few. (2)

Some of the major threats to the well-being of healthcare personnel are biological agents; consequently, antiretroviral medication for post-exposure prophylaxis of healthcare staff, against HIV infection, has become a common place, beginning from the 1990s. (3) Post-exposure prophylaxis is also provided for a number of other infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B. Outbreaks are menacing constituents of the healthcare systems, especially due to the increased mobility of humans making the world a global village. Hence, healthcare systems should be well-prepared for the advent of any disease outbreak,  with compulsory evaluation and required workforce.(4) 

Additionally, experience of workplace violence has become extremely common particularly in low income countries: the situation of a healthcare facility in terms of its geographical location, qualification and training of faculty members, and  general attitude of the health workforce and the population being served, are key factors that can help predict the feasibility of vehemence and violence at a healthcare facility; ths leads to absenteeism and resignations of the staff. (5)

The provision of better healthcare can only be guaranteed by considering the presence, approachability, adequacy and calibre of the staff, as according to one of the calculations by WHO, the healthcare workforce would experience an attrition of 18 million healthcare workers by 2030. (6) Hence, the agenda of Universal Health Coverage is rendered to seem impossible, because low income, long duty hours, and the above mentioned hazards continue to discourage the healthcare workforce from putting efforts for the welfare of fellow human beings. Countries with low socioeconomic status are at a high risk of facing the speculated decrease. (7)

Furthermore, low-paid workers are often more susceptible to musculoskeletal insults due to abnormal positions that they have to assume while shifting patients; a feeling of helplessness and social stigma accompanies them. (8)

Hence, safety of health workers and the patients are inseparable components of planetary health. Research shows: most of the mishaps are brought about by doctors having irregular sleeping schedules and consecutive duties. (8) So, let’s help the healthcare workers help themselves, by alleviating their situation, such that they would truly work like saviours for patients.

References:

1- https://www.who.int/occupational_health/topics/hcworkers/en/

2- https://www.who.int/occupational_health/publications/hiv_tb_guidelines/en/

3- https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/prophylaxis/pep_guidelines/en/

4- https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/manual_EVD/en/

5https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/activities/workplace/en/

6- https://www.who.int/whr/2006/en/

7- https://www.who.int/whr/2006/en/

8- https://scholar.google.com.pk/scholar?q=association+of+patient+safety+with+healthcare+workers+safety&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DoFrGdd4RyJ4J

About the author

Fatina Munawar a final year medical student at Quaid e Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur, Pakistan. She is a member of QAMC-LC of IFMSA-Pakistan and currently working as the publications support division director of her LC; her major focus has been medical education during her term. She hopes to create awareness regarding health, environment and humanities through social media profile of her LC.

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

Youth and Decent Work: A Review of Today’s Facts, Challenges and Possible Solutions

Britain in and out of the EU

Agreement on EU instrument supporting border management and common visa policy

“Two Pack” approved: Is democracy chased away from Brussels?

9 climate tipping points pushing Earth to the point of no return

Altruism can be good for business, as these companies show

Parliament mobilised to channel EU funds to those affected by Coronavirus pandemic

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

UN highlights profound implication of population trends on sustainable development

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: UN health agency

‘New tech’ business model threatens decent work conditions, warns UN

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

Localized microfactories – the new face of globalized manufacturing

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

Manufacturers Get Smarter for Industry 4.0

Tackling obesity would boost economic and social well-being

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Is a 3-day split week the way to get people back to work?

The metamorphosis of the categorical imperative in medical students

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2019: more work needed

The Future of Balkans: Embracing Education

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

This is how travel hotspots are fighting back against overtourism

Strong EU trade enforcement rules enter into force

Not enough resettlement solutions for refugees worldwide, says UN

Mankind’s first tool to fight malaria also kills

Connect 4 Impact – a virtual journey around the globe WSA Global Congress 2021 – March 22-24

What if nature became a legal person?

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

Black historical figures who shook the world, from a warrior queen to a Mexican president

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

Services are the hidden side of the US-China trade war

Antimicrobial resistance: how can an intersectoral approach between society and healthcare professionals be developed and applied?

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

The use of mobile technologies in Radiation Oncology: helping medical care

Climate change helped destroy these four ancient civilisations

We need to talk: UN gears up for 75th anniversary with Global Conversations

Climate change will be sudden and cataclysmic. We need to act fast

Companies that put employees first perform better

How Japan and Singapore are reinventing old age

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

President von der Leyen’s State of the Union Address: charting the course out of the coronavirus crisis and into the future

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

Around 52 million in Near East, North Africa, suffering chronic undernourishment, new UN food agency report reveals

A climate scientist explains what the melting Arctic means for the world

UN programme to help spare millions from child marriage, extended to 2023

How global tech companies can champion ethical AI

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