We're Live Bangla Monday, March 27, 2023



Twenty-four per cent of healthcare workers in Bangladesh did not receive any personal protective equipment (PPE) till May, and 44 per cent of those who have PPE are not satisfied with its quality.

When those having received them were not satisfied over the quality and were concerned about the proper use of the lifesaving gear due to lack of training.

Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW), a civil initiative, made the revelation in an online briefing on Saturday after conducting a survey.

Brac University's James P Grant School of Public Health carried out the secretarial role of BHW survey.

The organisation conducted a similar study in April, too. In the first phase, 60 frontline health workers serving at government and private hospitals took part in an interview over phone. Among them, 46 were re-interviewed between 5-11 May in the second phase of the study.

The participants were asked about PPE and the training required to use the PPE. As a follow-up, they were also asked about the updates regarding the recommendations made by BHW during the first phase of the study.

Some 24 per cent front-liners including 23.10 per cent MBBS physicians, 50 per cent nurses and midwives and 12.50 per cent paramedics said they did not receive any PPE till then.

The organisation, however, said PPE distribution had improved by May than April, especially supply of PPE had increased for paramedics. However, the health workers shared their concerns over the quality of the gears provided. They also added that there was no adequate training on their use either.

According to the organisation, the physicians’ accommodation, food and transport management had been improved, but not on a wide scale. Moreover, such privileges were only received by the physicians, but not for other frontline health workers.

Noting the increased psychological stress on health workers, the study said, the psychological health of the physicians has become a public health crisis as no measures were taken to address the mounting mental pressure on the health workers.

To contain the situation, the study stressed regulating quantity and quality of PPE, providing proper training and measures to protect the psychological health of the frontline workers.