Protect Indian Nurses, Midwives & ANMs from COVID-19!

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Nurses and midwives in India are suffering!

They are losing hope that the government(s) and people will come forward and show they care!

The atrocities against nurses and midwives are countless!

A doctor checked a COVID-19 positive patient & put the used glove in a nurse’s pocket, then kept it on her hand after knowing well that she is diabetic. A group of doctors were found talking in very derogatory language about nursing and nurses on social media for being denied a mask (out-of-stock) by the Nurse-in-charge. Videos of people blocking nurse’s way to home while they return from duty; have gone viral. Many are being evicted from rental apartments. Meanwhile, the Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) working in outreach are coming in contact with thousands of people to spread awareness without even a mask and can’t ask people to use their toilets anymore for the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Midwives and nurses are being bullied by public, administration and doctors alike!

Nursing & midwifery staff is paid meagrely, forced to work without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sometimes, not allowed to go into quarantine after getting exposed to COVID-19 positive patients and are being asked to work on a daily wage of as little as Rs. 273 /day. Let’s fix this!

I am starting this petition to draw the attention of the Prime Minister and the Health Minister of India to take action with state governments, central government & various administrations involved in managing the response to COVID-19 and ensure the following:

1.  PPE and testing: No nursing & midwifery staff should be posted without donning proper PPE recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) & be prioritised in testing & unnecessary delay in sharing test results should be avoided.

2.  Water, sanitation, hygiene, accommodation & transportation:  Their stay should be made comfortable at par with the standards that have been set for doctors, with access to water, clean toilets & healthy diet. Nurses & ANMs should be given transportation for the COVID-19 screening & awareness generation in the community & other related travels. 

3.  Quarantine, Day-offs and Leaves: Arrangements be made for 14-day quarantine if they get exposed & test positive. Government orders should be streamlined on the nurse’s day off against the number of day’s duty and the protocol should be strictly followed. They should not be forced to take leaves.

4.  Helpline: A helpline should be set up so that nurses, midwives & ANMs can report their grievances anonymously about point 1-3; and the specific committees (point 5) should be linked to ensure immediate action.

5.  Decision Making, leadership and management: Nursing personnel should be appointed in committees that are planning and implementing management of COVID-19, starting from the block level along with an independent committee of nurses, midwives & ANMs to oversee the response of controlling this pandemic.

This is the year of the nurse & the midwife and it is our collective responsibility to do more than clapping, lighting candles & banging thalis. No country can survive without its nurses & midwives! So, let’s do our bit!

Please sign this petition if you care about nurses, midwives & ANMs. Protect them so they can protect us! 

#YearOfTheNurseAndTheMidwife #ProtectNurses #ProtectMidwives