Wednesday, August 10, 2022

COVID-19 Cases Drop In The Americas, But Challenges Continue For Health Workers

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While cases of COVID-19 fell by a third in the Americas this week, health care workers continue to face challenging conditions due to systems that are unprepared to support them, the Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa F. Etienne told during a media briefing on Wednesday.

“When cases surge exponentially, as they have in the past few weeks, the burden falls mostly on the people that power our health systems,” Dr. Etienne said.

“For them, there is nothing mild about this Omicron wave,” she asserted.

With infections reaching 4.8 million (a 31% drop from last week) but 33,000 new deaths, the PAHO Director said the region remains in the grip of the latest COVID-19 wave.

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And she urged countries to harness the lessons learned from the pandemic so far as clinics and hospitals once again become full.

Etienne said years of underinvestment in health services, aging information systems poor labor conditions made health workers’ jobs challenging.

She observed that these disadvantages worsened due to COVID-19.

A PAHO study shows that during the pandemic, doctors, nurses, and other frontline health workers saw more patients, worked longer hours and suffered higher rates of COVID-19 infection.

In some countries, such as Ecuador and Bolivia, more than 10% of health care workers got COVID-19, and many others lacked access to sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Director said that this has led to “elevated rates of depressive symptoms, suicidal thinking, and psychological distress.”

She asserted that ensuring access to PPE and prioritising health care workers for vaccination are critical to addressing these issues and enabling them to do their jobs safely.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

1 COMMENT

  1. And at the height of the pandemic the former administration semi privatized the hospital give rise to mass migration among nurses. Very disturbing.

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