There are no second thoughts about the fact that healthcare workers are the pillars supporting the world in this time of global crisis. They’ve been putting their lives in danger since the first day the pandemic hit. As such, when it comes to getting vaccinated, they should naturally be at the top of the priority list. But, you’d be beyond shocked to know that there are millions of nurses and doctors who haven't even had the chance to get their first shot yet!
As per the ICN (International Council of Nurses), tens of millions of nurses haven't had their first dose of vaccine yet. To put the dire numbers into more perspective, the WHO estimates that more than 200 healthcare workers have been dying each day since the virus' outbreak, and the numbers are increasing at an alarming pace.
Chief Executive of ICN, Howard Catton, states that there would've been serious and immediate investigations if this was an airline company going down with 200 people on board. There are healthcare workers and nurses working 24/7 who are coming in direct contact with the virus every single day. But what's sad is that despite knowing that there is a way to protect them, they're still being kept away from the vaccine, whereas people who are far less vulnerable in other countries are getting all the possible protection. Seems that all the warm regards of support and compassion towards healthcare workers are just hollow words!
A voice that must be heard
Mandy Malambo, a nurse in Lusaka, Zambia, has been fortunate to receive one dose of the vaccine and is patiently waiting for the next one. She mentions that things have been extremely difficult because of the pandemic. The number of healthcare workers has been decreasing rapidly, and the number of cases has been increasing every day. The staff isn’t able to take good care of the infected patients as they’re constantly under worry and stress of contracting this virus and spreading it to their families. It's total mayhem out there with things becoming so overwhelming.
Despite nurses and other workers highlighting the condition, it’s heart-wrenching to witness the deaths and infections among healthcare workers being treated so negligently. The true figures of deaths are far higher than what is actually reported to the WHO. In fact, many countries aren't even officially reporting the actual number of casualties.
The hope for a better future
The actual data can raise some serious and important concerns about the level of risk the healthcare workers are exposed to. But it’s extremely necessary to report the numbers to the policymakers so that they can take protective measures for the actual heroes. It’s understandable that there’s a high shortage when it comes to vaccines, especially in the lower-income countries, but the real question is that if the healthcare staff isn’t protected from this pandemic, who will look after everyone else?