COVID-19: Frontline Health Workers Deserve More Treatment, Rewards Than What African Governments Are Giving Them

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Afri-Goal Foundation, has expressed unhappiness and disdain at the ill-treatment being meted to frontline health workers in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic within the African continent.

According to the Foundation, “Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Africa, health workers have been sacrificing themselves, putting their lives at risk to ensure persons infected are treated and recovered.”

In its statement titled: “COVID-19: Frontline Health Workers Deserve More Treatment, Rewards Than What African Governments Are Giving Them”, the Foundation said; “Due to the valiant efforts of our health workers, the African continent has recorded 524,557 recoveries of the total 910,395 confirmed cases recorded.

“Sadly, these health workers are not getting the accolades they deserve. The latest data by the World Health Organisation shows that over 10,000 health workers are infected in Africa. This is largely due to the lack of personal protective equipment and weak infection prevention, with the government solely to blame for those. Hundreds of health workers have also died after being infected with the pandemic coronavirus.

“The continent is plagued with a sub-par health system ranging from lack of adequate facilities to absence of incentives for health workers. Eighty-four per cent (84%) of the continent’s healthcare facilities surveyed by the WHO were found to have poor infrastructure to prevent infections.

“Over 1.4 million or 10 per cent of all cases worldwide are among healthcare workers though there is a wide range between individual countries.

“In several African countries, infection prevention and control measures aimed at preventing infections in healthcare facilities are still not fully implemented.

“Afri-Goal has heard sad tales of how health workers in government-owned hospitals have to purchase PPE with their personal funds due to non-provision by the government. This is nothing but the height of gross carelessness and dereliction of duties on the part of the government.

“We call on the African Union to direct all Heads of countries to prioritize the care of health workers especially those at the frontline of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

“We urge all countries to ensure the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and also beyond monthly salary provide hazard allowance for all health workers as incentive to appreciate their efforts in combating the pandemic coronavirus.”

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