By Chioma Obinna
The World Medical Association, WMA, Monday raised the alarm over the rising tide of violence against health workers around the world, describing the situation as an international emergency that was intolerable.
The Association in a press statement made available to Vanguard and signed by the WMA Secretary-General, Dr. Otmar Kloiber, said urgent action was required to combat the trend.
“Over the last decade, we have seen a surge of violence against health personnel worldwide. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this phenomenon has expanded dramatically.
“Every day, our medical associations report incidents: threats, insults, stigmatisation from communities, and states. In some countries, physicians are victims of reprisals for denouncing undignified working conditions, the blatant lack of medical equipment, or for criticizing their government pandemic responses’.
The WMA further called on the World Health Organisation and member states to assess the magnitude and gravity of what it described as this ‘scourge’, to ensure adequate accountability against perpetrators of violence and to undertake systematic data collection on violence incidents in relation to the pandemic.
In addition, they also demanded that information to the public must be transparent, complete, and accessible to stop misinformation related to COVID-19 contamination.
‘It is time to realise that violence against health personnel has adverse cascading impacts on the life of each of us. Physicians and other health personnel members need protection and safe working conditions in a solid health system. Member states are accountable for making this happen’.