The Nicaraguan Medical Association (AMN) urged the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health this Thursday to guarantee the protection of doctors and health professionals in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose affectation curve could rise in the coming weeks.
The AMN, founded in 1938 and which brings together some 40 Nicaraguan medical organizations, made an “urgent call for us to care for and protect doctors and health professionals, and all personnel committed to the care of this health emergency, as well like their families, this requires urgent and rigorous protection against their healthcare activities. ”
The call, addressed to the Ministry of Health, was made this morning by the AMN after it emerged that one of the specialists in charge of caring for patients with COVID-19 has contracted the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease.
The Government of Nicaragua maintains a policy against the new coronavirus that has earned it national and international criticism, since it does not establish restrictions, does not execute social prevention measures, promotes agglomerations, and only recognizes ten cases, including two deaths, all “imported” , and without “local community transmission”.
The doctors urged the Ministry of Health that “as a governing body, we guarantee all the biosafety elements (personal protective equipment), as well as the proper training in their use, according to the guidelines that the World Health Organization (WHO) has arranged. ”
Until now, the government of President Daniel Ortega has not reported on any type of protection measures for health personnel, in addition, anonymous reports from officials that claim that government authorities prohibit the use of masks in hospitals abound, arguing that they should not create panic in the population.
Doctors from the AMN stressed that the high spread of SARS-CoV-2 “puts our lives, those of our families and of the people in general at risk, according to international statistics, the level of medical and paramedical personnel exceeds 20%, even when personal protective equipment is used ”.
The medical union recalled that their personal protection not only prevents contagion from health personnel, but also contamination from other patients.
In the same way, he regretted the “unclear way in which statistical reports have been handled” on the pandemic in Nicaragua, the limited access to sample collection and diagnosis of suspected cases, since they prevent “knowing the true epidemiological situation” of the country.
“This limited access to truthful and verifiable information also prevents us from developing self-care strategies that lead to safeguarding the lives of Nicaraguans,” added the AMN.
Ortega’s actions against the pandemic have made the situation in Nicaragua be considered as a case of violation of human rights, by international humanitarian organizations.