The World Health Organization has published a new guideline aimed at improving the working conditions of health workers.
The guidelines done in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO) is meant to develop and implement stronger occupational and health safety programs.
The document which comes at a time Covid-19 is still ravaging he globe is expected to help safeguard and protect the health practitioners.
Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the global health body said in a news release that even before Covid-19 pandemic, the health sectors was among the most hazardous work spaces.
In the joint news release dated February 21, WHO and ILO stated that the pandemic has taken an additional heavy toll on the health workers and demonstrated dangerous neglect of their health, safety and well being.
It went on to mention that more than one in three health facilities lack hygiene stations at the point of care, and that fewer than one in six countries had in place a national policy on a healthy and safe working environment in the health sector.
“Only a few healthcare facilities had programs in place for managing health and safety at work. Health workers suffered from infections, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, work place violence and harassment, burnout, and allergies from the poor working environment,” Neira said in the statement.
Impact of Covid-19 on health workers
According to James Campbell, Director Health Workforce Department at WHO, about 115, 000 health workers died from Covid-19 in the first 18 months of the pandemic.
“This pandemic has exposed the cost of this systemic lack of safeguards for the health, safety and well-being of health workers,” he said.
The document developed by WHO and ILO targets sustainable programs for managing occupational health and safety for health workers at national, sub-national and health facility levels.
The guide which outlines the roles that governments, employers, workers and occupational health service should play in promoting the safety of health workers, also cover all occupational hazards which include infectious, ergonomic, physical chemical and psycho social.
The guide also consist an action plan and a trainers manual which will not only create better working conditions for health service providers but also lead to better and quality services for patience.