COVID-19: CMA regrets death of doctors, healthcare workers

The Commonwealth Medical Association on Thursday expressed regrets over the death of healthcare workers and other citizens to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation, therefore, called on the Federal Government to make greater commitments to the safety of health workers in Nigeria.

The CMA called on the National Medical Associations to “specifically demand the development and full implementation of these frameworks in their respective countries, as well as the sustained provision and availability of working tools and Personal Protective Equipment.”

Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a reference point, the organisation stressed the critical need to adopt a more comprehensive strategic framework that gives emphasis to the safety of both the health workers and patients.

The President of CMA and former President of NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, expressed the views in a statement to commemorate the 2020 edition of the World Patient Safety Day with the theme: ‘Health Worker’s Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.’

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The CMA urged all physicians and healthcare workers in the Commonwealth “to jointly observe a minute silence and pray for the eternal repose of their great souls” on Sunday, September 20 2020 at 2pm London time” in memory of Doctors, healthcare workers, and citizens who have passed on, especially during the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Enabulele said, “The CMA regrets the loss of healthcare workers and other citizens to the COVID – 19 pandemic, and deeply condoles their families and loved ones. We pray for the eternal repose of their great souls.

“While the CMA appreciates past and present efforts of governments to provide for health worker safety and protection, reports from various countries indicate that there are still very huge gaps to be filled, particularly in terms of protecting physicians and other healthcare workers from assaults and acts of violence perpetrated against them even in the course of undertaking their sacred duties of saving lives in the current COVID – 19 pandemic, as well as evidence of inadequate provision of working tools, Personal Protective Equipment, and unsatisfactory working conditions, amongst others.

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“On account of the above realities, the CMA restates her fervent call on governments and other stakeholders to make greater investments and sustained commitments to the working conditions, occupational health, and safety of healthcare workers.

“The CMA remains irrevocably convinced that health workers’ safety is a sine qua non for patient safety, and that these investments and sustained commitments to health worker’s safety are critical to the delivery of quality healthcare and patient safety.

“A physician or health professional who is not physically, mentally, and psycho-socially fit, or who works in unsafe conditions, is very unlikely to deliver quality patient care.

“For anyone that was ever in doubt of the important nexus between health worker safety and patient safety, the experiences from the current COVID – 19 pandemic provide enough learning points and convictions on the critical need to adopt a more comprehensive strategic framework that gives emphasis to both health worker safety and patient safety.

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“On our part, the CMA shall continue to advocate for health worker’s safety and patient safety, including the sustained provision of safe working conditions, PPEs, and incentives to motivate healthcare workers.”

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