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Health care workers quit jobs in Yemen fearing COVID-19

A person washes hands at the new department for coronavirus patients at Zaid Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 28 March 2020 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]
A person washes his hands at the new department for coronavirus patients at Zaid Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 28 March 2020 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

Many health care staff have quit their jobs in Yemen due to the high risk of contracting COVID-19, leaving the already-decimated healthcare system under-resourced, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported at the end of last week.

“Recent reports that health workers are at high risk of falling ill with the virus have also raised serious concerns about their safety among medical staff across the country, leading many to quit their jobs and stay at home, leaving hospitals short-staffed,” Caroline Ducarme, MSF’s Head of Mission in Yemen, said.

Ducarme added: “One of the consistent challenges we face is finding skilled medical staff willing to work in a COVID-19 treatment centre, where they are needed most.”

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She continued: “This is despite the use of personal protective equipment and the strict implementation of infection prevention and control measures in this hospital.”

This, Ducarme added, “furthers weakening the Yemeni health system.”

Yemen has 1,465 confirmed coronavirus cases including 417 deaths, however actual figures are expected to be much higher as these do not include those living in Houthi held territories in the north of the country. Experts also believe many Yemenis are not seeing medical treatment when infected as they are unable to access it.

Categories
CoronavirusInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastMSFNewsYemen
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