ZIMBABWE Hospital Doctors Association has demanded the implementation of strict measures to protect health professionals who have a very high risk of exposure against the covid-19 pandemic.

In a press statement on Monday, Tawanda Zvakada president of the association the lack of preparedness by government institutions is putting the lives of health officials at risk.

“As Health care professionals with a very high risk of exposure, we have noticed with great concern the lack of preparedness at government health institutions in terms of controlling the covid-19 pandemic,

The lack of clear direction and traaining has resulted in overcrowding at entry points to health facilities and left frontline medical personnel attending to patients without the bare minimum of personal protective equipment”, he said.

Below are measures to be implemented to guarantee the safety of health officials.

The measures are:

  • Hospitals must scale down to emergency mode with immediate effect
  • Adequate PPE to be availed to all healthcare workers at highest risk
  • Mandatory screening ar all points if entry to include purpose of visit to limit traffic as well as provide adequate distancing of patients and visitors to the health institution
  • Separate entry and exit points for health workers
  • Clean water and sanitisers to be readily accessible throughout the hospitals
  • Patients requiring emergency services to be accompanied by at most one other person
  • Suspension of visiting inpatients to avoid crowding in wards and corridors
  • Specialised trained task force to attend to suspected corona (sic) cases
  • HCW compensation to be discussed in a transparent manner to allay the current fears of health worker.

The doctors warned that if their concerns were not addressed, they would not be able to “continue conducting our duties, exposing ourselves and risk spreading the virus to our loved ones at home”.