PMA urges government to secure ‘frontline warriors’

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Expressing deep concerns on prevailing safety situation for healthcare workers in the wake of COVID-19, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) joined by other professionals has urged federal and provincial governments to secure its frontline warriors i.e. doctors, nurses and other paramedical, sanitary staff by providing them the most needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in public and private sectors both.
Observing the slow response of governments despite PMA calls for action, the premier body of doctors has announced to provide PPE suit with face shield to doctors and support, sanitary staff as well on self-help basis.
A joint media briefing was held by the Pakistan Medical Association here at PMA House on Tuesday.
It was addressed by office bearers and representatives from PMA, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), Young Doctors Association Sindh, Young Nursing Association/ Federation, Midwifery Association, Sindh High Court Bar Association, Karachi Bar Association and the College of Family Medicine Pakistan. Speakers included Dr. Sharif Hashmani and Dr. Abdul GhafoorShoro – President and Secretary General of PMA Karachi respectively, Dr. Atif from PIMA, Ms. Uroosa Lakhani and Ms. Riffat Jan from Midwifery Association, Mr. HeeraLal from YNA Sindh, Mr. Zia Awan Advocate and other bar representatives.
Health and other professionals expressed their extreme concerns about the existing conditions of healthcare workers and corona infection situation.
All stakeholders strongly suggested the following to government:
1. Ventilators should not be priority of NDMA purchase order. Resources should be used for expanding testing capacity and effective PPEs for Healthcare Workers.
2. Expand corona screening and testing facilities to district level as soon as possible.
3. Develop strict corona screening facilities at port of entry, quarantine centers and isolation centers.
4. Functioning of corona designated hospitals.
5. Activate network of community clinics, Family Physicians & registered General Practitioners with proper PPEs& SOPs.
6. Promote home isolation, where possible with monitoring and reporting of data by registered General Practitioners & communityclinics.
7. Specialty clinics and hospital OPDs should continue with emergency services only, with PPE& SOPs.
8. IT mobile tracking of corona positive patients should be activated.
9. Based on test results (incidence) targeted specific area lockdowns.
Representatives of PMA and other bodies said that government is not heeding their demands for safety of healthcare workers which can be another catastrophe in such an epidemic.
It is time to act fast to overcome the aggregating situation. “For general public we will advise them to stay home,” they urged.
On this occasion, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) also introduced a safety dress and face shield designed for doctors, nurses, other healthcare and sanitary staff other than of that Corona isolation units or ICUs.

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