Following a report from Amnesty International that 17,000 health workers had died on account of the COVID pandemic. Seed Global Health CEO, Dr. Vanessa Kerry authored the following opinion piece that was published by CNN on March 16, 2021.
Last Thursday marked one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. The statistics on lives lost are heartbreaking. The reports of economic and labor disruptions are staggering. For decades to come families will bear these impacts; from the empty seat at the dining room table to devastating medical bills and lost wages.
Among the many casualties of Covid, you’ll find an underreported but alarming danger: Last week, health workers’ deaths due to the pandemic reached the gruesome milestone of 17,000 across 70 countries. According to Amnesty International, this equates to a health worker dying from Covid-19 every 30 minutes.
A hollowed-out health corps will haunt societies long after Covid-19 becomes a bitter memory. Long-term investment in health workers — a response that governments and health systems often fail to deliver — is more acutely needed now than at any time since AIDS devastated health infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa 25 years ago…