The United Nations Health and Labour agencies on Monday, 22 February, said, Health workers globally need much safer working conditions to fight against “dangerous neglect” that they have faced during the pandemic of COVID-19.
During the COVID-19 outrage, around 115,500 health workers globally lost their lives within the first 1.5 years of the pandemic as there was a severe lack of proper safety measures and working conditions.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation (WHO), together in a joint call, insisted that the covid crisis had given a massive rise to death tolls of health workers.
Health workers always stay at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, and as the pandemic is still prevailing, WHO and ILO launched a guide regarding developing and implementing more substantial occupational safety and health programmes for health workers globally.
Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, said, “Even before the pandemic, health workers used to work in very unsafe conditions. Very few healthcare organisations have programmes for managing the health and safety of health workers.”
She further continued, “We have witnessed health workers facing serious problems during working periods like musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, infections, workplace harassment and violence, burnout and other minor allergies from poor working environment.”
The ILO and WHO have released new country guidelines to overcome this situation at national and local levels. The guidelines came as the UN agencies indicated that more than 1 in 3 health departments lack hygiene standards. In comparison, less than one in six countries had a national policy in place for a safe and healthy working environment within that place.
The released guide by both the UN agencies, WHO and ILO, provides various recommendations regarding modifying these hazardous environments and improving the working conditions for health workers, keeping in mind their health and safety.