The number of health professionals infected by Covid-19 in Mozambique has been increasing. At the beginning of the current year, about 300 health professionals tested positive for Covid-19.

Currently, this August, a total of 4,287 health professionals are contaminated.

By the province, Maputo City registered 1,101 cases, leading the list with the highest number of contaminated health professionals. Maputo Province comes next, with a total of 452 – in a list in which Niassa Province, in northern region of Mozambique, holds fewest cases, with 211 infected.

Graphic 1 – Total Number of COVID-19 Infected Health Professional by Province

Maputo City recorded the highest number of deaths of health professionals, with 16 cases. Fallows Gaza Province, with five cases, and finally we have Maputo Province with three cases. Deaths in the remaining provinces vary between two and one.  

Graphic 2 – Number of deaths of health professionals by COVID, by province

The high number of deaths and contamination has occurred in this third wave. This worsening situation takes place after the government needs plan, budgeted at USD 700,000,000.00, of which USD 100, 000, 000.00, for prevention and treatment, according to the Covid-19 Fund Use Report. 

Although MISAU received the money, complaints about the lack of material and protective equipment for health professionals persist.

In 2020, the Citizen Health Observatory (OCS) denounced the lack of protective equipment in the national hospital unities, describing a scenario at Maputo Central Hospital (HCM), in which health professionals were forced to wear the same mask for a week, while lacking disposable cassocks for them and for the trainees working in the traffic centers.

“They didn’t give us the disposable cassocks when we entered the transit center” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

With the lack of protective material, the health professionals – to avoid contact with viral infections – simply did not go to the workplace. There was also a lack of professionals in various health sectors due to the lack of Personal Protective Material (MPI). When OCS contacted the hospital directions, knew that there was not enough material – it was being rationalized.

According to The National Inventory (SARA 2018), the national average labor force ratio is 6 workers in the specific health area per 10,000 inhabitants.

This means that the contamination of more than 4,000 health professionals directly affects the provision of various services in the hospital units, at a time when the country needs more professionals to assist the patients, considering that, per day, about 1,000 people get infected by Covid-19.

In the context of this pandemic, the use of PPE by health professionals is extremely important to avoid the transmission of Covid-19 and the increase of new cases and deaths among the agents of this professional class.

With the excessive contamination of health agents, the National Health System is going to face a collapse, characterized not only by the lack of equipment, but also by the absence of professionals.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 10% of health professionals fall ill as a result of their professional practice in this pandemic.

The contamination of professionals can mean increase of hospital overload. Thus, many health professionals find themselves in physical and psychological collapse, a fact that can also contribute to a less humanized care in the hospital unites.

OCS defends that MISAU, in coordination with its partners, should prioritize the safety of health professionals, allocating resources that can enable greater availability of PPE in the Sanitary Units. From our point of view, it is a matter of prioritization, since the Government and donors can make use of the same logistics, used in vaccination, for the provision of PPE and other equipment.

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