06/23/2020, 14.56
BANGLADESH
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Doctors and health workers die from lack of quality protective equipment

by Sumon Corraya

In the country, the coronavirus mortality rate for health care workers is around 4 percent, the highest in the world, where the average mortality rate for doctors is 2.5 percent. It appears that in the first phase doctors, nurses and health workers did not have any PPE and this is why many of them were infected, but although the government now supplies PPE, the quality is not standard.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - In Bangladesh, around 50 doctors have died of coronaviruses in the past two months. Nationally the coronavirus mortality rate for doctors is around 4 percent, the highest in the world, where the average mortality rate for doctors is 2.5 percent.

About 4,000 health workers - doctors, nurses, pathologists and technicians - have been infected so far. Experts say that the main reasons for the infection among healthcare professionals are the lack of supplies of quality personal protective equipment (PPE) and the hiding of information from patients who are coronavirus positive.

"I received two PPE from my office which are of poor quality, so my husband bought me two quality PPE from Dhaka and I use them," says a Catholic nurse who works in a state hospital in Dhaka. The 32-year-old nurse does not want to reveal her name and says that her colleagues have been infected with this virus. She is also spending days in fear of getting infected, but is committed to continuing to serve sick people.

It appears that in the first phase doctors, nurses and health workers did not have any PPE and this is why many of them have been infected, but although the government now supplies PPE, the quality is not standard.

Research also indicates that many health services have not obtained quality PPE. 24% of health workers in Bangladesh have yet to receive PPE and 44% of those who have PPE are not satisfied with the quality. The research was conducted by the James P Grant School of Public Health of the University of Brac and the Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW). The communication was made during the presentation of the results of two researches on PPE and health financing in an online media briefing on June 20.

The report says 76% of healthcare workers currently have PPE, but only 56% are satisfied with the quality.

Muzaherul Huq, a former regional adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the rate of coronavirus infections among healthcare professionals is very high in Bangladesh compared to other countries.

It seems that the main reason behind the growing infections among healthcare professionals is that they come into direct contact with patients and their carers without adequate protective equipment. "The doctors - he explains - worked for many hours under heavy pressure and suffering from anguish and fatigue. "That's why they sometimes lose their heads and erroneously manage patients, causing infection."

According to the deputy chancellor of Kanak Kanti Barua of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), most doctors become infected while dealing with patients who go to them but hide information about their symptoms. “Many patients - he says - together with their companions, come to the doctors without wearing masks. They also hide their infection."

In Bangladesh, up to June, 1502 people died and 115,786 were infected. Among them, five Christians died of coronaviruses. Archbishop Moses M Costa has also been infected; yesterday his second exam turned negative and is being treated.

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