Health Professionals: Let's Reciprocate the Care

Jun 20 , 2020
By Eden Sahle

There is a friend of mine who knows about sleep deprivation like no other. Working double shifts and sleeping on wooden benches, he is one of those strong men and women on the front line of the fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our healthcare professionals are putting their lives on the line to save the lives of others each day with the lack of even the most basic infrastructure.

For my friend, the COVID-19 pandemic means the disruption of his previous practice, where he cared for a single patient at a time. Now he has to engage with multiple patients at a time in a public health institution.

Making that sort of abrupt change is not easy for him and his colleagues who have had to adapt to ever-changing unpleasant new realities. They were not expecting to contend with a flood of patients. It is not just new COVID-19 patients who are impacted but others that have been affected with the strain put on the healthcare system.

Even under normal circumstances, our medical professionals are expected to deliver more than their training prepares them for. They are not provided with adequate medical gear and equipment, they face high rates of infection, and the stress that comes from dealing with patients in pain is often exhausting and distressing. Apart from a lack of facilities, the grossly inadequate number of medical doctors has added to the burden.

The COVID-19 outbreak is especially taxing. It often involves working in an environment where not enough is known yet about the illness, but health professionals are expected to meet expectations with a similar level of effectiveness. The emotional and psychological impact takes its own toll, as their exposure to the virus negatively impacts their social life.

We all may be living in uncertain times, but it is truer of these professionals. Society owes them a debt of gratitude for the resilience and dedication to their profession. Without them, we will not be able to defeat the pandemic.

As the number of cases has been rising over the past month, with daily rates having reached three digits, the best way we can still keep ourselves safe is by protecting ourselves from the disease.

Although we may not have the medical skill to treat patients, we have hard-wired humanity in all of us to be there for one another and to appreciate those who are helping the country. We should all go beyond our comfort zone and cope with the lifestyle changes the pandemic has brought.

Certainly, the pandemic is a new aspect in our lives that is largely out of our control. Until these professionals can come up with an effective enough treatment, it will be out of our control.

There are already promising clinical trials taking place at the moment. One of the most promising seems to be Dexamethasone, a low-dose steroid treatment that has been seen to cut deaths by a third for patients on ventilators and a fifth for those on respirators.

What this shows us is that the pandemic will come to an end, and we will once again venture outside without fear. What is expected of us is patience to stay put, while our health professionals save the lives of those who have unfortunately contracted the disease.

We also do not know whether after the pandemic life as we knew it might be significantly different. We may reassess our values and institutions. Most likely, we would attempt to look after our environment better and work to strengthen our health system, including providing healthcare professionals with the resources they need. The silver lining might be that we will come out of this fairly committed to caring for our doctors and nurses, in much the same way they took care of us in our time of need.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 20,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1051]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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