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Bahrain adopts WHO's health worker safety charter

MANAMA, September 19, 2020

Bahrain Medical Society (BMS) has adopted the "Health Worker Safety Charter" issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at providing better protection for health workers and patients, especially in a critical time like this.
 
BMS stressed upon the importance of the Charter on the occasion of World Patient Safety Day and its objects of adopting safety measures for better protection of health workers and patients, based on the fact that one of the most critical factors in maintaining the safety of patients is keeping health workers safe.
 
The adoption of this charter comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has become one of the most daunting challenges and threats facing medical and health personnel, said Dr Nazar Bukamal, general secretary of BMS. 
 
Dr Bukamal pointed out that the charter highlights the need to better protect health workers and calls for additional steps to be taken to protect health workers from violence, improve their mental health, safeguard them from physical and biological risks besides improving the national programs for the safety of health workers, and link health worker safety policies with current patient safety policies.
 
"In addition to the physical risks, the pandemic has exposed health workers to extraordinary levels of psychological pressure as a result of working extended hours in demanding conditions, and living in constant fear of exposure to the virus while separated from family," he stated.
 
"What was announced by the national medical team regarding the number of infections among the health cadres is reassuring," said Dr Bukamal. 
 
Besides daily fear of infection, every health worker is exposed to stress, exhaustion, discrimination, and even violence, he added.
 
The BMS move comes at a time when the statistics of the WHO confirm that there are about 14 per cent reported cases of Covid-19 among health workers, and in some countries, this percentage reaches 35 per cent, despite limited data and the difficulty of knowing whether health workers have contracted the infection in their workplaces or communities. 
 
Dr Bukamal reiterated the society’s call for all citizens and residents to continue adhering to the preventive precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19, explaining that this commitment remains the most valuable co-operation that the citizen and resident can provide for himself, his country, and for health cadres. 
 
"Doctors feel profound sympathy from everyone, and we need to interpret this sympathy into action by implementing the precautionary measures of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and other precautionary measures.” he noted.
 
Bahrain Medical Society had played a crucial role in the battle against Covid-19 by undertaking several key initiatives, including educating the community through awareness messages on the pandemic and how to deal with those infected with it, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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