The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has threatened to prioritize their wellbeing and life over that of patients should the government continually refuse to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to health facilities across the country.
According to the spokesperson of the association, health workers have always complained of inadequate supplies of PPEs ever since the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The Public Relations Officer of the GRNMA, Joseph Krampah in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show said, “When the virus broke out, nurses and doctors called on the government to address our numerous concerns but we were not listened to. Now, there are no PPEs in the system.”
“Health workers, unlike soldiers, didn’t pledge to put their lives down for the nation. We said we will save lives regardless of tribe and treat all lives as equals. If we don’t receive the PPEs, then it means we have to be cautious and move away from the virus.”
He disclosed that over the week, some 19 doctors and 26 nurses contracted coronavirus in Tamale and this can be linked to the shortage of PPEs. Mr. Krampah added that if health workers receive PPEs on a timely basis, they will have no problem doing their work.
“But if your life is in danger and you don’t have PPEs to protect yourself, you have to prioritize your life. If we don’t get the PPEs, we can’t risk our lives. There is a law that supports us on this front and we will put our lives first,” he said.
Joseph Krampah revealed that the morale of health workers was very low because of the surge in COVID-19 infections amongst health workers.
He reiterated the need for constant supplies of PPEs noting that the government’s excuse of shortages will not be taken anymore. “We see the ordinary Ghanaian using facemasks and PPEs of medical standards. If the government can’t get it, then where did they get it from?” he asked.
The spokesperson of the GRNMA demanded PPEs from the government.
“They should bring us the PPEs. We are really getting frustrated. We can’t sacrifice our lives for others. No one’s life is a second-hand life.” Over seven hundred and seventy-nine health workers in the country have contracted the novel Coronavirus with nine deaths as of June 30, with the number steadily climbing up.
The affected health workers include 190 doctors with 4 unfortunate deaths, 410 nurses and midwives with one death also. 150 health service workers with 3 unfortunate deaths and also 23 government hospital pharmacists.
These cases have been attributed to the inadequate supply of PPE, delays in receipt of COVID-19 test results, amongst others.