Pay attention to mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers

gnlm opinion

COVID-19 pandemic has posed several challenges on several fronts, bring mental health consequences of the pandemic for health workers working at frontlines and a vast majority of people struggling for livelihood and trying to adapt to the pandemic.
As the public fatigue of COVID-19 and the agenda shifts back to other matters, the frontline healthcare workers front-line workers might feel increasingly isolated from the rest of the public in their sustained efforts against COVID-19. Whilst the risk to the public reduces, healthcare workers’ continued interaction with COVID-19 cases means there remains the threat of days of enforced self-isolation, and serious illness.
The very measures used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 increase the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts: economic stress, social isolation, decreased access to community, barriers to mental health treatment, and illness.
The vast social and economic impact of COVID-19 highlights the critical need for all countries in our South East Asia Region to invest in quality mental health care, which must be part of an overall increase in health spending, said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia
In this challenging time, efforts must be made to protect and promote the mental health and well-being of health workers, which has come under great pressure in the ongoing pandemic response.
Balance working hours and rotate workers from higher-stress to lower-stress functions is helpful to prevent burnout, minimize stress and enhance the mental well-being of health workers. Personal protective equipment must be readily accessible to all.
Max Energy has offered special discounted fuel prices to healthcare workers, ambulances, CSOs and taxi drivers during COVID-19 crisis since June in our country, KBZ Life Insurance and KBZ MS General Insurance have provided health insurance to about 200 health workers at the Inya COVID-19 Centre. People have also shared their wealth to needy people by providing cash and kind as a way of reducing economic burden during hard times. Such initiatives are most needed today.
We all should display more sympathy and understanding and be supportive to others, as the pandemic does not seem to be going away any time soon. Let’s continue to stand together to tackle what is the greatest public health challenge of our generation.

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