There has been a global show of appreciation for medical practitioners since the outbreak of coronavirus in many countries around the world.
On social media, news outlets and even physically, the health personnel keep receiving accolades for the role they play in catering for Covid-19 patients mitigating the death rate.
In Italy, several persons sang from balconies to show gratitude. Several artists have also released songs expressing gratitude for their selfless sacrifices. In the US and other countries, many have gone as far as offering flowers as well as putting up performances strictly for medical personnel as a way of saying thanks for their services.
These show how appreciative most nations are of their health workers. Is the feeling the same in Cameroon, one of the sub-Saharan countries most affected by the virus?
Health workers in the country that has over 2,000 Covid-19 positive cases say in addition to the weak health care system, their efforts in curbing the spread as well as treating persons with the virus go unrewarded.
Last week a video went viral on social media and has since raised concerns over the safety of medical personnel as they carry out their daily tasks. In the viral video, relatives of a deceased lady are seen beating up a doctor they accused of falsely diagnosing her.
Health Minister, Manaouda Malachie and the national medical council among other bodies have since spoken out against the attack.
In view of this, Dr Patrick Ngou a medical doctor in Cameroon has launched a campaign on Twitter calling for the appreciation of the work he and other health personnel have been doing since the coronavirus outbreak.
Posting A picture of doctors sleeping on a table, the pediatrician said it was taken by a security guard on Saturday after they had worked for 24 hours receiving over 30 children.
“I had already announced two deaths to families, and I had saved nearly 20 children, in one night. Going from joy to disappointment in a second, by adapting your emotions … is not an easy exercise” he explains.
After about 30 minutes of rest by 4 AM, a parent walked in on them resting and began insulting them for being lazy. Dr Patrick says he and his colleagues tried to diffuse the situation by keeping quiet but the parent took their silence for contempt and threatened to attack them physically.
The demoralisation of health workers and harms caused by the lack of rest to health workers he says should not be undermined. “How many times have you called your doctor just to find out how he is doing? … How many of you have given your doctor a pair of gloves, a mask, a gown to tell him how important he is to you and to society” he questions.
The happiness he adds “is found in simple things, sometimes in a few hours of sleep.”
With over 2.000 coronavirus patients in Cameroon, the country has recorded close to a thousand treated cases and dozens of deaths.
In addition to recruiting more health workers to enable Cameroon to combat the pandemic, many say it should be accompanied by a rise in wages as a form of encouragement for the daunting task.
Mimi Mefo Info