Nurses chide 'lack of sanitation supplies'

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By Machela Osagboro

Nurses have hit out at what they say is a lack of vital sanitation supplies at the country’s main hospital, putting them and hospital users at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

The executive body of the Nurses’ Association is seeking a meeting with the health minister to discuss concerns at Mount St John’s Medical Centre.

 “Nurses are here like sitting ducks,” said one irate medical practitioner who blasted health chiefs on social media.

“Where are our extra supplies of hand soap, sanitiser, Lysol, etcetera?”

President of the Nurses’ Association, Soria Dupie-Winston, told Observer, “some nurses are in fact concerned that they don’t have enough supplies, so we are trying to meet with the minister to address the concerns that we have.”

She chided an alleged lack of communication between medics and health officials.

“We at the St John’s Medical Centre are waiting for the minister of health to address us on matters arising from the highly contagious COVID-19,” another reliable source said.

The source also claimed staff were being kept in the dark about the proximity of a quarantined patient, putting workers and fellow patients “in direct harm”.

“There are no outlined guidelines to follow for the protection of health workers and it is a breach of human ethics for persons in charge to do this,” they said.

The source also expressed concern about how the quarantine and isolation unit at the repurposed Margetson Ward would be staffed.

“We are not prepared for this; my fear is that hundreds of elderly and immune-compromised persons may end up dying,” the source added.

Dupie-Winston assured the public that nurses are willing to work but need to be properly equipped to tackle the likely forthcoming impact on health facilities.

Health Minister Molwyn Joseph did not respond to several requests by Observer for comment. 

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