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Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi takes extra steps to keep health workers safe

Filed on September 16, 2020 | Last updated on September 16, 2020 at 10.18 pm
Coronavirus, Abu Dhabi, takes, extra steps, keep, health workers, safe

(Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times)

All medical staff undergo periodic screening for any type of infection.

Health authorities in Abu Dhabi are taking extra steps to ensure safety not only for patients but for medical professionals, too.

Sustainable actions taken fall in line with the World Health Organisation's theme for this year's World Patient Safety Day, 'Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety'.

The Abu Dhabi Healthcare Company (Seha), the largest healthcare network in the country, has been taking comprehensive measures to support its employees in dealing with the challenges and risks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr Marwan Al Kaabi, acting group chief operations officer at Seha, said: "Our employees play an important role in providing services to the community. Their role makes it very hard for us to have them away for a short time normally, let alone this pandemic. To achieve that, we continue to implement the measures we always had for patient and employee safety, but with the Covid-19, we took additional measures."

Dr Maryam Al Ali, healthcare centre manager at Al Zafaranah Diagnostic and Screening Centre, said that, like other Seha facilities, they have implemented new programmes including internal training sessions, psychological webinars and setting up hotline numbers where health workers can get support.

"All medical staff undergo periodic screening for any type of infection. They are given internal training on wearing and disposing of personal protective equipment. There are audits and quality checks done to ensure efficient use of the PPEs," Dr Al Ali said.

Those who are feeling stressed or burnt out could dial a hotline number to get support. A psychiatrist also provides stress management tips regularly. "Psychological webinars are conducted to support the staff with accurate information during this time. There is an occupational health department to take care of other requirements," she added.

"The pandemic isn't just stressful for the community, but the medical professionals, too."

The centre's staff will wear orange masks today, in observance of World Patient Safety Day. 

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