Dr. Bukamal: BMS adopts ‘Health Worker Safety Charter’

Dr. Nizar Bukamal
Dr. Nizar Bukamal

MANAMA — Dr. Nazar Bukamal, general secretary of the Bahrain Medical Society (BMS), stressed the importance of the "Health Worker Safety Charter" issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the occasion of “World Patient Safety Day”, and its objects of adopting safety measures for better protection of health workers and patients, based on the fact that one of the most critical factors in maintaining the safety of patients is keeping health workers safe.

Dr. Bukamal, in his statement, noted the measures mentioned in this charter of required measures to better protect health workers and calls for additional steps to be taken to protect health workers from violence, improve their mental health, safeguard them from physical and biological risks, improve national programs for the safety of health workers, and link health worker safety policies with current patient safety policies.

He affirmed that Bahrain Medical Society's adoption of this charter comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the most daunting challenges and threats facing medical and health personnel. In addition to the physical risks, the pandemic has exposed health workers to extraordinary levels of psychological pressure as a result of working extended hours in demanding conditions, and living in constant fear of exposure to the virus while separated from family.

“What was announced by the national medical team regarding the number of infections among the health cadres is reassuring. This comes at a time when the statistics of the World Health Organization confirm that there are about 14pc reported cases of COVID-19 among health workers, and in some countries, this percentage reaches 35, despite limited data and the difficulty of knowing whether health workers have contracted the infection in their workplaces or communities. Besides daily fear of infection, every health worker is exposed to stress, exhaustion, discrimination, and even violence," he said.

Dr. Bukamal renewed the society’s call for all citizens and residents to continue adhering to the preventive precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19, explaining that this commitment remains the most valuable cooperation that the citizen and resident can provide for himself, his country, and for health cadres.

"Doctors feel profound sympathy from everyone, and we need to interpret this sympathy into action by implementing the precautionary measures of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and other precautionary measures,” Dr. Bukamal added.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical role fulfilled by the medical and health cadres to alleviate suffering and save lives, and this calls to focus more on providing the doctors with the most comprehensive possible support. He confirmed in the conclusion of his statement that Bahrain Medical Society will continue its programs and initiatives aimed at supporting the doctors.

The Bahrain Medical Society has played a great role since the start of the pandemic, as it has undertaken many initiatives, including educating the community by sending awareness messages about the virus, how to prevent it, and how to deal with those infected with it. The society also produces and publishes many related educational videos, conducting television interviews for the same purpose, and participating with the Ministry of Health in awareness campaigns.

The society also organized many workshops on COVID-19 and how to deal with the infected, and many initiatives to encourage Doctors, through social media and SMS, in addition to providing them with free masks and sterilizers. — SG