The Risk in Nicaragua for Health Professionals facing Covid-19

In other countries.  In Nicaragua.  Cartoon: Px Molina

If we want to keep our health heroes in the hospitals, so that they do not resign, we must be agents of change, we must support their requests

By Elthon Rivera Cruz (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Covid-19 crisis that thousands of health professionals nationwide have been announcing, is already at its point of escalation, and is rising very fast. Have you heard of the famous Covid-19 curve?

Well, it’s the same one that ascends with force, driven by ignorance, arrogance and evilness of the dictatorial regime that “governs” Nicaragua, which has invested more in spreading the virus, than preventing it.

But the bad news goes beyond the fact that community contagion spreads without control, there are other things that every Nicaraguan must take into account, such as, for example, that the Government doesn’t intend to stop the crisis, it just sits down and lets it continue its natural course, causing what we all fear, a massive and deadly contagion.

Another thing to know is that the statistics will remain a mystery. The regime insisted on manipulating the information to minimize the numbers and project a much less impact than what we are really experiencing.

It is also very important to recognize that the health system at the national level is highly deficient in the face of this pandemic, resources are limited and, in many cases, nonexistent, the minimum requirements that health personnel needs for adequate care of patients are not being met. The protection for doctors and nurses who are in direct contact with positive cases is scarce and is usually paid out of the pocket of healthcare personnel.

But perhaps those things are already known to the majority of the population, and if not, at least they suppose them, however, now I want to refer to a situation that is possibly less taken into account, and that is what will happen to health professionals in general.

They are also people who feel fear, who are prone to get sick and therefore die, with the highest percentage of risk, they are human beings who value not only their lives, but also that of their families, who they also put at risk when they return home, after a long day of service to the sick.

Doctors, nurses, laboratory, security, cleaning, technical personnel and other hospital workers are not immune.

We got used to seeing how in other countries they pay homage to these heroes and heroines, with videos, applause, drawings and songs, in short, in various ways. And I bet that more than one in our country, is already preparing to go out the door and join in the applause of solidarity and appreciation. I do not doubt, either, that the Government in its hypocrisy will join this type of “recognition.”

Today, to you reading this, I want to ask that in Nicaragua we change our methods, because copying what other countries have already done will not help our situation. What our health workers really need is that we raise our voices forcefully, demanding that the Government dispose of the money it has taken from the people, to supply the hospitals with all the necessary resources so that all health workers have the necessary security that allows them to reduce the risk of contagion.

What is really needed is that we as a people, as individuals and as organizations, we put pressure to stop the massive crowds that the disinterested and irresponsible Government promotes, deceiving, misinforming and taking advantage of the ignorance of certain poor and easy-to-manipulate sectors. It is urgent that we unify our voices so that the real statistics are projected.

In Nicaragua, being a health professional in these times of pandemic, is a risk that carries a high price, which due to the poor conditions and managing that the health authorities give to workers, many are not willing to take; and it is completely comprehensible. Under each white coat is a mother, a father, children and husbands, sisters and granddaughters, there are complete families.

Many health workers have already stepped back from the fight against Covid-19, because they do not plan to follow the Government’s example. It is easy to understand, “if the Government does not protect them, they will go home to protect their own.”

Let us not dare to criticize them tomorrow for stepping aside, because they not only run the hospital risk, but also the one that the government and its fanatics provide on the streets, followers who undoubtably can become patients at some time.

The trend of resignations is growing, and it does not distinguish between ideologies, both Sandinistas and opposition leave the hospitals, and this phenomenon will continue to expand. Think about it, would you expose your life and that of your loved ones, to confront a struggle without sufficient protection, without State support to implement measures of social isolation?

Would it be worth dying or to see your loved ones die because of your medical duties, while in the streets a significant number of the population continues as if nothing is happening, simply because they believe that “everything is normal?”

What significance does it have to give yourself body and soul, if the power of the Government with all its ramifications of state control fosters hundreds of cases daily? With propriety I can say that the majority will answer no, it is not worth it.

Thus, if we want to keep our health heroes and heroines in hospitals, so that they do not desist and resign, let us be agents of change. Let’s support their requests for personal protection, for measures to be taken at the national level to prevent the spread. Let’s demand favorable conditions so that they will do their work in the best way; otherwise, let’s not ask them for more than they can give us as human beings.

Let us remember that the task of fighting the pandemic is not only for health workers, nor exclusively of the State, which in fact, is not doing it.

It is a collective struggle of each member of society. It is your responsibility and mine. We must comply with the recommendations of the experts, practice social isolation today more than ever, and support the demands for the defense and fulfillment of human rights to health, safety, protection and life.

Only the people can save the people!

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