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RO9 Hospital weekHealth comes first. This is the slogan of every hospital and health workers since for them, the health and well-being of the patients and people in the community are the top priorities. Now more than ever, especially during this pandemic, hospitals serve as the primary care that play a significant role in the COVID-19 response. They are responsible in differentiating patients with respiratory symptoms from those with COVID-19, diagnosing and treating patients affected and even helping the vulnerable people cope with anxiety and stress about the virus. Thus, every 6-12 of August every year is observed as National Hospital Week by virtue of Proclamation No. 181 signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos to highlight the roles of hospitals in nation building and to focus on the ways they are supporting the needs of their community members during this pandemic.

Hospitals and health workers are considered to be the heroes even before the pandemic occurred. As primary health care, they are the important foundation during emergency situations such as Dengue, Polio, SARS, MERS-COV, other epidemics and now, the COVID-19 as well. Amongst their many responsibilities during this pandemic include diagnosing patients, providing safe emergency and comprehensive care, monitoring and following up on suspected and mild cases ensuring that they are fully healed before leaving the hospital premises.  But behind these responsibilities, hospital staffs and health workers are also facing many struggles during this COVID-19 battle. They need to endure being away from their family and loved ones, the long working hours, fatigue, physical and psychological violence and the stigma.

As part of the community, the best thing that everyone can do to help the health care heroes is to avoid being infected with the virus through following the COVID-19 health protocols such as staying at home, wearing of face masks and shields, proper hand washing and disinfecting your homes and workplaces. By practicing these protocols, you don’t only protect yourself from the virus but you also protect the health care workers and minimize their workloads.

COVID-19 is a hard battle to defeat. Despite the risks it brings, hospital workers are bravely facing these to protect the community and the country. If you happen to see or pass a health worker, have some time to acknowledge them through giving them even a short “Thank you” for all their hard works and sacrifices. Continue practicing the health protocols and pray for everybody’s safety who is battling against this pandemic.

The National Nutrition Council IX salutes all the hospitals and health workers for their untiring efforts in defeating the COVID-19 virus. Thank you and we are one with you against this fight!

 

NO I Angelica O. Pajulas

 

References:

1. Role of primary care in the COVID-19 response from https://iris.wpro.who.int/handle/10665.1/14510

2. Rights, roles and responsibilities of health workers, including occupational safety and health from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-rights-roles-respon-hw-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=bcabd401_0