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— Wednesday, July 7, 2021 —

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Covid 19 takes a toll on doctors and health workers

5:53 pm, July 7, 2021

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Prajwal Badalhttps://informnepal.com
Prajwal Badal the editor of Inform Nepal. He is also a researcher, community development worker, and advocate.

The present situation of COVID 19 has risen alarmingly in Nepal resulting in many cases and deaths in a single day. Despite the nationwide imposed travel restrictions, the condition does not seem to be in control. Health workers including all doctors, nurses and other frontline workers are working tirelessly to bring the situation in control. The government is still not able to vaccinate every citizen in this pandemic. The pandemic has exceeded the capacities of hospitals, ICUs, ventilators and oxygen cylinders. This has caused a huge overload on doctors and other health workers. The health workers have continued to provide services despite overtiredness, personal risk of infection, personal isolation and fear of transmission to family members, friends and colleagues. Stress caused due to long working hours wearing uncomfortable personal protection equipment (PPE) has significantly risen as well.  Being shunned and discriminated against by community members and being away from family adds further loneliness to the health workers. Most of the health workers are not paid well enough to encourage them. Moreover, insufficient resources, absence of proper treatment method, has been the challenges for managing the severely ill patients.

Approximately 180 people die in a day in Nepal due to Covid despite the efforts made by health professionals. This sometimes leads to a clash between the deceased family and health workers. On May 27, after a COVID patient died while undergoing treatment, relatives of the deceased have physically assaulted the doctors and nurses in Nepalgunj in Bheri Hospital. The health workers on duty were forced to jump out of 2 storey building to save their life from the attacker. The relative of the deceased had even vandalized the ICU treatment centre. This act has discouraged frontline health workers and they have set protest for strong action against culprits. This type of incidents impacts health workers, their services and eventually give rise to a greater number of deaths due to COVID and other diseases. The government must be extremely tactful to create a favorable environment for health workers to work without any fear without which the rise of COVID will escalate.

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