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COVID-19: Group calls for special recognition for frontline healthcare staff

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An advocacy group, Good Governance Initiative, has called for a Special Recognition Awards to recognize outstanding health workers and individuals who have demonstrated significant achievements in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

In a statement by its national co-ordinator Mr Kenechukwu Okeke, MCSD, he appreciated the efforts of the federal government, state governments and captains of industries who have combined forces to combat the coronavirus growing steadily across Nigeria.

Mr Okeke said ” In thanking healthcare workers on the frontline around the world for combating SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) as the world emerges from the acute phase of the COVID-19 crisis, the great contribution of the health workers on the frontline should not go unrecognized. We know that in providing care to those suffering from the Coronavirus Disease, hundreds of health care workers contracted the SARS-CoV-2, and many died. Health workers risk their lives while helping to save the lives of others. Nigeria is not an exception.

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In Nigeria, these frontline workers may be at a heightened risk of psychological distress and other mental health problems, due to the ever-increasing number of COVID-19 confirmed cases, the overwhelming workload, an information overload, aggressive contact tracing and insufficient personal protective equipment and drugs. In similar situations, I am not totally unaware that healthcare workers experience stigmatization, as well as fear of infection for themselves and their families. My heart will always go on for you.

To recognize these unsung heroes, I advocate a Special Recognition Awards (for health workers), to recognize outstanding health workers and individuals who have demonstrated significant achievements in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone should be able to see the frontline health workers who are essential to the fight against the COVID-19 but who tend to go unrecognized for their efforts.

This is a collective responsibility. Governments at all levels, Civil society, media and international institutions all have a role in ensuring these frontline healthcare workers are brought to the limelight and recognized. As the international community continues to advocate for the protection of health workers, Nigerian Government at both the Federal and the State levels have an equally important role to play, by ensuring safe and secure access to health services for all and strengthening accountability on health workers and facilities. There is an indispensable need to work together beyond the health sector to ensure that provision of health care and life-saving measures does not come at the expense of the lives of health caregivers and their patients.”

Nigeria so far has recorded 493 cases, unfortunately, it has also seen 17 deaths which includes 3 health workers at the frontline.

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