Health practitioners at risk [Archives:2005/862/Health]

July 25 2005

By Amal Mohammed Al-ARiqi
[email protected]

“Many times I felt that I was neglected “said Dr. Sameera, who discovered that she has infected of HIC though of her insist on following the medical protective measures that prevent infection transmission. She is working as a specialist in woman and birth section in governmental hospital.

“When I discovered that I'm sick I went to the ministry of health with the report that mentioned that I got the virus during my working, trying to get my right of getting medicine. The response was from a principal in the ministry “drink honey”. I realized that time that was no benefit so I sold my properties and my husband's possessions to get the medicine which consists of many injections are taken irregularly. The cost of each injection is 45,000 YR. “she said sadly.

Dr. Huda, a dentist said ” I live constant horror state. Although I wear protective gloves, I come home every day to find my hand full of scratches. I feel scared of getting infected disease. However I try to forget these fears to keep on working”

Rabab a nurse, referred to bitter reality when she said “there are many infected nurses. However that can not discovered easily whether because of the delay of the appearance of the symptoms or the attempts of the nurse to hide her infection fearing administrative procedures .The absence of periodical medical tests for the cadre is the reason of this neglect “

These are examples of the medical risks that face the worker in medical departments. According to 2004 statistics 16357 persons have been reported to be infected out of which 2393 are accouters and 8787 nurses, woman's share of these number reaching 51 percent.

Medical risks and contiguous diseases threaten women and men in medical sector all the same, however according to Dr. Yusra Murit of the Family Care Association woman's situation differs from men because she is a mother, housewife and health practitioner, this means so many lives depend on her and hence she must be careful, especially in the presence of infectious diseases like hepatitis, typhoid which may be transmitted through using towels and sharing the same house appliances.

Abandoned health practitioners

The measures taken when discovering an infection are that the infected doctors are prevented to dealing with patients and are given executive tasks to do instead of practicing medicine. Usually their salary does not change, according to Dr. Yusra. She added ” the wages that medical cadre get are not enough to cover living expenses. I, for example, have been working for 19 years and my salary is supposed to be 22.000 YR but I get 19.000 YR less than 100$. The irony of this is that the deducted amount is for “medical insurance. Where is this insurance they are talking about?”

There are no available studies that indicate the number of infected workers among the Yemeni medical cadre. However, international studies show that among the 35 million health workers worldwide about 3 million receive percutaneous exposures to blood borne pathogens each year, two million of those to HBV, 0,9 million to HCV and 170.000 to HIV. These injuries may result in 15000 HCV, 70000 HBV and 500 HIV infections.

“Yemen's status is different” said Dr. Yusra Murit ” because there is no medical insurance for the citizens or the workers in medical sector “

Dr. Awath Hunish -deputy manger of work health hazards department of the ministry of labor confirmed on Dr. Yusra's argument confessing that the department does not have any protection and treatment measures for the medical staff although they are subjected to immense risk of infection. He added that some medical centers neglect the periodical medical tests in addition to the lack of training all of which that increase the possibilities of these infections.