Indonesian health workers grapple with a ‘double burden’ (NGO) – .

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Indonesian health workers grapple with a ‘double burden’ (NGO) – .


A member of medical staff checks patients with the Covid-19 coronavirus in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Bogor on June 18, 2021, as the rate of infection with the Covid-19 coronavirus in Indonesia skyrockets.
Aditya Aji | AFP | Getty Images
Medical workers in Indonesia are grappling with the pressure to treat Covid-19 patients while rapidly vaccinating residents of the country as infections increase, according to a global health and humanitarian relief organization.
“Healthcare workers in Indonesia face a double burden,” said Edhie Rahmat, Indonesia executive director of Project HOPE, short for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere.

First, they must take care of both Covid patients and patients with other illnesses. Second, they are “under pressure to quickly cover a high number of populations that need to be vaccinated,” he told CNBC in an email.

The total number of infections crossed the 2 million mark on Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 55,594 people have died from Covid-19 in Indonesia. Meanwhile, around 8.9% of Indonesia’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 4.6% of the country is fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

The longer the pandemic lasts and the more the workload increases, (it) will impact their workload and make them vulnerable to transmission and infection.

Edhie Rahmat

Executive Director for Indonesia at Project HOPE

“The longer the pandemic lasts and the more the number of cases increases, it will impact their workload and make them vulnerable to transmission and infection,” he said, noting that there is few beds in intensive care units and a lack of good quality personal protective equipment in the country.

Nearly 980 healthcare workers have died from Covid-19, according to data from LaporCovid-19.

Medical workers are also at risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Rahmat said.

“Most health workers in Indonesia do not have the experience to deal with long-term crisis situations like this,” said Yogi Mahendra, Project HOPE emergency response specialist for the ‘Southeast Asia, in a statement.

Increase in cases

Coronavirus cases in Indonesia have increased in recent weeks after the Eid holiday in May.

“Most Indonesians, regardless of their religion, enjoy this gathering and celebrate with lots of food, handshakes and discussions,” said Rahmat.

Authorities announced tighter restrictions in 29 infection hot spots this week, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, Reuters reported.

In these so-called “red zones”, religious activities in places of worship have been suspended, while restaurants, cafes and shopping centers can only operate at 25% of their capacity, Reuters said.

The country’s most populous island, Java, was hit hardest by the second wave, Rahmat said.

He also noted that some vaccinated health workers had contracted Covid-19, citing a report from a Kudus district official, who said 350 such cases had been detected.

“We have also received a report of a midwife who died in the neighboring district of Kudus and two doctors who died during the same period in different districts,” he said.

Even though medical workers have mild symptoms, they must be isolated for 10 days and cannot work in hospitals at a time when cases are “skyrocketing,” he added.

“It’s a serious problem that can ruin the health care system,” Rahmat said.

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