About 10 doctors and health care providers who lost their lives as a result of Covid-19 in Pakistan were directly involved in the treatment and management of the disease, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said, calling for a re-launch of coronavirus vaccination for all health workers without delay.
“Of the 192 doctors who have lost their lives in Pakistan, about 182 general practitioners and health care providers have been diagnosed with the disease,” PMA Secretary-General Dr Qaiser Sajjad told The News on Sunday.
“Everyone who provides health care in Pakistan is at the forefront of health care because they risk their lives by treating well-known and incorrect patients with Covid-19.”
Of the 1.2 million health care workers working in the public and private sectors in Pakistan, only 224,000 doctors, nurses and paramedics have received both doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, forcing the government to stop registering for inoculation due to their “lack of interest” in vaccination.
Medical organizations, including the PMA and the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (Pima), have reacted strongly to the suspension of health workers’ enrollment, saying doctors, nurses, and paramedics are dealing with a few unprotected patients and endangering their health. daily during the epidemic.
Considering that health care workers were initially reluctant to get vaccinated, Dr Sajjad said in the early days the government had denied health workers over the age of 60 to be vaccinated, adding that the vaccine was not recommended for the elderly, which created confusion for health care workers. and they became reluctant to vaccinate.
“Now that most health workers are ready to be vaccinated, their registration is closed. There are thousands of young doctors, including graduates, counselors as well as nurses and paramedics, who work in hospitals and clinics unprotected. I urge the authorities to immediately start vaccinating health workers in the country. ”
He also revealed that he had also discussed the matter with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, who had told him that due to the misuse of the health facility, some unsuitable people had also been vaccinated by impersonating health workers. “But Dr. Sultan has assured me that they will continue to register health workers with the Covid-19 vaccine after confirming that something has been tested.”
Senior lung specialist and former Pima central president Dr Sohail Akhtar also called for a resumption of immunization by health workers while criticizing their health care providers for their reluctance and hesitation to vaccinate, even though they were prioritized and the vaccine was provided free of charge.
“I think hospitals, health centers, universities and medical centers should make the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory for their employees and should not allow those who refuse to vaccinate to work.”
He went on to say that despite the reluctance and reluctance among health workers to receive Covid-19 injections, the government should not suspend the registration of health workers for vaccination, and demanded that authorities immediately begin the registration of health workers in Pakistan.
On Saturday an official from the National Department of Health, Regulations & Coordination told The News that less than 20 percent of health workers, including doctors, nurses and paramedics have so far been infected in Pakistan.
“The campaign to vaccinate an estimated 460,000 health workers started on February 1 across the country, and in time all health workers were not allowed to be vaccinated.”
According to data from The News, the highest number of health workers receiving the first dose in Punjab is about 183,000, while only 83,000 are able to receive the second dose; in Sindh 120,000 were able to get the first dose and 80,000 got both doses; about 50,000 received the first dose at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but only 26,000 received both doses.
Similarly, only 16,000 health care workers received the first dose in Balochistan, while about 10,500 were able to receive both doses; 14,500 received the first dose in Islamabad Capital Territory, while 10,500 were able to receive both doses; about 11,000 were able to get the first dose at Azad Jammu & Kashmir, while 8,500 were able to get both doses; In Gilgit-Baltistan about 5,000 health workers received the first dose, while around 4,000 received both doses.