Health workers in COVID-19 treatment centres still facing stigmatization

Dr Ebenezer Oduro-Mensah, Medical Superintendent of the Ga East Municipal Hospital, says despite the constant appeal by government for people to stop stigmatizing COVID-19 patients and frontline health workers, staff of his facility are still facing the rejection.

“Some of our junior staff have had to stay away from their places of abode because the other household members have indicated that they prefer they stayed away from the house as they continue to work in this facility than being in the same place with them,” He told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.

“We understand it is for fear of spread. But when the staff are stigmatized, eventually the patients are stigmatized as well. Because if the patients are not received back home, then they are made to feel like they have done something wrong in contracting the disease, which is not the case, because any of us could potentially contract COVID-19 at any time of exposure.”

Frontline health workers, Dr Oduro-Mensah said, needed the support of all persons to offer their best service at the fore front of the COVID-19 fight.

He said the Ga East Municipal Hospital had attended to more than 330 COVID-19 patients, and discharged more than 290, out of which 270 tested negative on two occasions after receiving medical attention.

Dr Oduro-Mensah said currently there were about 40 patients on admission and the Hospital is known as one of the best in managing COVID-19 patients, hence the support they have been receiving from the Central Government and corporate entities in terms of funding and Personal Protective Equipment.

The Medical Superintendent said considering the non-compliance to the safety protocols set by the Ghana Health Service and the World Health Organisation, frontline health workers were expecting a rise in the COVID-19 cases.

He, therefore, appealed to government and corporate entities to continue to support health facilities, so that they would be well equipped to manage patients of the respiratory disease.

Speaking about the ‘Private Sector Fund’ sponsored COVID-19 100-bed capacity isolation and treatment facility under construction at the Hospital, Dr Oduro-Mensah said it was expected to be completed latest by the middle of June 2020.

He explained that when completed, it would supplement what the Hospital had in catering for the patients.

Source: GNA

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