The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the huge challenges and risks health workers are facing globally including health care associated infections, violence, stigma, psychological and emotional disturbances, illness and even death. Furthermore, working in stressful environments makes health workers more prone to errors which can lead to patient harm.
The pandemic has exerted unprecedented pressure on health systems worldwide. Health systems can only function with health workers, and a knowledgeable, skilled and motivated health workforce is critical to the provision of safe care to patients.
We must also care for our health workers through support networks that allow them to preserve their mental and physical health. We must celebrate them for the heroes they are and protect them from stigma. We should encourage and admire our health workers, not fear and disrespect them.”
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO Director. (7 Apr 2020)