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On Minister of Health Comment on Health workers as causes of own death - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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On Minister of Health Comment on Health workers as causes of own death by katty : January 31, 2018, 09:27:36 PM
Thank you for coming to Ebonyi state to identify with us on the Lassa fever outbreak, even though the 'fully operational Virology center' or at least the Teaching hospital would have been a more sensitive venue for that meeting instead of the government house. That way, you would have had the opportunity to teach your ignorant colleagues of the medical profession how to wear gloves and gowns in order to prevent contracting the Lassa fever virus.

Sincerely, I do not know those that were able to sit through your speech because I would have been too nauseated to sit still.

Honourable Minister Sir, I think it is an insult to your brethren of the Hippocratic Oath and other health professionals for you to sit in Abuja and conclude that we are contracting and dying of Lassa fever because we have 'REFUSED to take necessary precautions while treating patients in the hospitals.' Sir, you effectively blamed Dr Ali, Dr Abel, Nurse Iwe and every other health worker who paid the supreme sacrifice, for their own deaths. In essence, they died as a result of their carelessness. For me, this is the height of callousness, insensitivity and insult.

May I also add at this point that it is actually ignorant (of you) to say that you thought Lassa fever 'has calmed down a bit' so you gave 'operationalizing' the Virology center in Abakaliki a back seat while tackling Monkey pox, meningitis and of recent yellow fever. Have you been in Abuja that long Sir, that we need to remind you the epidemiology of viral hemorrhagic fevers, that they 'calm down a bit' when the rains come only to resurface in dry season? So, that 'calming down season' would have been a good time to get ready for the inevitable next outbreak.

Sir, you also said that 'up till today, no health worker has contacted Lassa fever in Irrua Specialist hospital', I do not know where you get your information from sir but that is erroneous. That no health worker in Irrua has DIED from Lassa fever in the past ten years is different from that no health worker has contracted the virus in the course of their work. May I bring to your knowledge Sir, that they, in Irrua,  no longer die from Lassa fever because they now have a FUNCTIONAL Lassa fever center where any and every suspected case is immediately tested and treatment/prophylaxis started as the case may be.

What your speech tells the already grieving health community in Ebonyi state and the country at large is basically this: "You are on your own. Better watch your back because no one is doing that. Not the hospitals you work in. Definitely, not the Federal ministry of health."

Dr Grace Nwankwo

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