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Nurses Association voices serious concerns about Belize’s COVID-19 preparedness strategy

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020. 8:29 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Today, the Nurses Association of Belize issued a statement voicing its frustrations with the approach health authorities are taking with addressing the concerns of health workers and also about how authorities are handling the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NAB said that it has sought the consensus of nurses countrywide and learned that: most nurses are unaware as to where isolation and quarantine for patients and staff will be done; personnel was concerned about coverage of themselves and their families; there is insufficient protective equipment for the staff; the national response plan is being unfolded too slowly and too late; there is a general belief that we have already entered a broader spread of the disease; and the infrastructure necessary for better service and control although affordable is not being provided; transportation to and from work is all but near impossible since public transportation has closed off service and the department is not doing enough to help the staff bridge this gap.

“We have reached out to participate in the discussions in the preparations and have since not received any other sign that the ministry intends to keep us ahead of the information available. The request of the nurses continues to go unresolved and their questions unanswered,” the NAB said.

The association noted that the Government of Belize issued a reminder of the oath nurses swore to serve the public but made no mention of providing adequate information, proper equipment or manpower to execute that oath, which sends the signal that nurses rights are not high on the list of government’s priorities.

The association made a sincere plea to GOB to have the issues addressed and further pleaded with the public to adhere to the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which the BNA believes is too great a problem for Belize’s healthcare structure to handle at present.

 

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