The world has dealt with many health emergencies before and central to the fight against many of the diseases has always been the provision of information to the public.
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. However, without the requisite information it would be very difficult if not impossible to successfully prevent a disease.
We would like to take this opportunity to applaud our health workers for being our frontline soldiers in the fight against disease outbreaks. We especially would like to pay tribute to our nurses, since a few days ago on 12 May it was International Nurses Day, a day set aside to celebrate the sacrifices that the health workers make in their bid to save lives. Dating back to the days of Florence Nightingale, nurses have upheld their ethics and shown their commitment to the profession, and above all, a determination to save lives even when it involves putting theirs on the line. We thank the nurses, and doctors as well, together with other emergency services workers who are working tirelessly to push back the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We believe that health workers have played a huge part in the fight against Covid-19, with the number of confirmed cases still under 40, largely due to an efficient screening, testing and tracing of contacts system that health workers are implementing. The infection has hit many countries around the world and the daily updates make one realise how well we are doing in comparison with other countries, and areas that we need to improve on.
It is important that we make the work of health workers bearable by following lockdown guidelines and also spreading the correct information about Covid-19. Social media has made almost everyone with a smart phone a publisher and some have taken advantage of technology to spread falsehoods and misleading information that could put people’s health in jeopardy.
However, within that maze of information, it is gratifying that the correct information is still finding its way through. It is crucial that nobody is left behind in this fight against Covid-19, since the disease does not discriminate. Elsewhere in this issue we carry a story about a nine-year-old pupil who wrote a poem about Covid-19, showing how much she knew about the disease and also praising health workers for their role in the fight against the disease.
It is our hope that many of her peers also listen to the news, pay heed to the warnings and understand why they are not allowed to go out as they used to. Such information will be crucial when schools eventually open since we could see implementation of social distancing and the wearing of masks in class, something which only those that understand why it is done would find bearable.
While we join the nursing profession in celebrating their service, we also would like to urge the public to assist the health sector by following laid down guidelines and sharing the correct information in order to arrest the spread of Covid-19.