Public Relations Officer for the Ghana Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Joseph Krampah has said that Government’s definition of who front liners are, has contributed to health workers contracting the COVID-19 disease and this has caused the fear in some doctors to report to work.
In an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show, he explained that the focus has been on the health workers at the COVID-19 treatment centres at the expense of the nurses and midwives in the periphery hospitals.
According to him, the nurses at the COVID-19 treatment centres are being provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and logistics at the expense of the nurses and midwives in the periphery hospitals.
“The morale is not good at the hospitals. We are all frontline workers. The divisive definition of frontline workers is not good. Some doctors fear to go to work. If you are dividing us and giving others more protection than others the numbers will increase. There are a lot of cases that come with fever. So the nurses at the mainstream hospitals cannot immediately tell if the case is COVID-19, however, those at the COVID-19 treatment centres know specifically the conditions they are dealing with.
The morale is down. We are still calling on Government to redefine frontline health workers to bring some motivation to our health workers to give out their best”.
In a televised address to the nation on 5 April 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo updated the country on the efforts made in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the incentives the Government has proposed for frontline health workers and for the general public.
The announcement by the President on the incentives for frontline health workers sparked controversy between officials of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the leadership of the different organizations representing- doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and physician assistants.
While the MOH was of the view that frontline health workers were limited to critical staff providing COVID-19 related care and services, the leaders of the health workers opted a broader definition to include all the different categories of health workers.