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COVID-19: We didn’t swear an oath to die, our lives are far more important to sacrifice – Nurses and Midwives Association fume

Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has issued warned government to either provide them with the needed logistics at the various health sectors across the country or incur their wrath.e for others to live – Nurses and Midwives Association fume

Speaking in an interview monitored by ABC News, the General Secretary of the Association, David Tenkorang-Twum, said nurses and midwives in the country will not protect the lives of others at the expense of theirs.

According to Tenkorang-Twum, nurses, unlike soldiers, did not swear an oath to die in the course of their job so they will not sit aloof and watch their members die of the novel Coronavirus whilst trying to treat infected patients.

He warned “We will not sit down for our people to be infected and it’s because we are not soldiers. It is a soldier who swears an oath to protect the territorial integrity of a country at the expense of his life. We didn’t swear any oath to protect the lives of people at the expense of our life. We are prepared to fight this infection but not at the expense of our life. That must be made clear.”

The GRNM’s caution follows the death of one of its members of COVID-19 with 87 of the nurses and midwives testing positive for the virus.

He indicated that most of its infected nurses and midwives were from those at the peripheral health centres and only 2 came from the COVID treatment centres.

“We know that about 820 people had been exposed to the virus and out of that, 87 have tested positive. We have lost one and 422 tested negative and they’ve been discharged home, 8 have recovered and then 312 have been quarantined.”

“Right from the beginning we made it clear that the concentration shouldn’t be only at the COVID centres but let me add that so far the 87 people that have been infected, 2 were from the COVID centres but the rest of them are all from the periphery. And that’s why we kept saying that they should provide the necessary logistics for those at the periphery who are more at risk. The PPEs are something that we must have a constant supply, most of them are disposable and something that gets disposed of after single use, we must have a constant supply,” he said.

The General Secretary of GRNMA described as appalling attempts by the management of hospitals who continuously silent health workers when they complain of lack of PPEs.

He insists the lives of the health workers are far more important than the reputation of the hospital they try to protect.

He recounted a moment where a medical doctor was reprimanded simply because he spoke about the lack of PPEs.

Mr. Tenkorang-Twum, therefore, warned health authorities to desist from gagging its members because the leadership of GRNMA will not take it lightly.

“We have gotten information that nurses and midwives who are speaking out about some of these issues are being gagged and we want to sign a note of caution to any management of any health facility who will dare gag any nurse or midwife because we are not here to see to the demise of nurses and midwives, leadership will not take kindly to it at all. They don’t have access to PPEs and then when they complain, management has the cause to speak to them in a manner. They think that when you report then you’re tarnishing the image or reputation of the hospital. Meanwhile, the life of the nurse is more important than the reputation of that hospital.”

For GRNMA, they want the government to provide PPEs not only to frontline health workers but to those at the peripheral centers because they stand a higher risk of contracting the virus since they are more exposed to patients who come into the hospital with all sort of ailments.

 

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