COVID-19: Global physicians call for urgent action to protect health professionals
Illustrative, Medical staff

By Chioma Obinna

Leaders of the World Medical Association, WMA, have described as ‘deplorable’ the fact that even in the world’s most affluent countries, health care professionals have to deal with the coronavirus pandemic with insufficient personal protection.

The physician leaders opined that when the pandemic ends, there must be a political investigation into the availability and effectiveness of supply chains.

In a press statement made available to Vanguard, in Lagos, jointly signed by the President of the WMA, Dr Miguel Jorge and Chair of the WMA Council, Dr Frank Montgomery mourned the loss of physicians and all health care professionals, describing it as ‘a bitter toll’.

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“We express our solidarity with the physicians and all the health professionals, care workers, and informal caregivers who are looking after patients every day. Much of the time they are doing their work without minimum standards of personal protection. It is deplorable that even in the world’s most affluent countries the simplest standards of protection cannot be maintained and health care professionals are sent defenceless into the burning fire of infection.

‘Furthermore, there are not enough staff, not enough equipment, and not enough places in intensive care units’.

The WMA leaders urge governments across the world and the World Health Organisation, WHO, to urgently provide all health care units in need with the necessary protective equipment (PPE), and to set up sustainable supply chains for PPE.

The duo in the statement also called for action to build and distribute a sufficient number of ventilators to care for ailing patients and for an assurance that there is a sufficient amount of beds in intensive care units to treat all patients without compromising ethical decisions.

They further demanded that at the end of the pandemic there should be a political investigation into the availability and effectiveness of supply chains and the risks of globalization in world-threatening pandemic situations.

The WMA had in January issued an urgent call to governments and the WHO to set up an international supply chain for medicines and supplies to help health professionals fight the spread of coronavirus.

Vanguard

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