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UPDATE WHO Regional Director for Europe: Romania succeded in proving health workers' dedication

El Pais
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Romania has very well succeeded in proving institutional capacity, community solidarity and the heroic devotion of its health workers, said WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, as he participated on Wednesday in the event "Climate change, the human-nature relationship and public health" organized at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on the occasion of the World Health Day, confirms.

Romania is a positive example in the region, having taken comprehensive and timely measures to handle this unprecedented state of emergency. Despite the fact that this pandemic continues to raise problems, Romania has very well succeeded in proving its institutional capacity, community solidarity and the heroic dedication of its health workers. I am very happy that my native Belgium has acknowledged the merits of a Romanian doctor from Piatra Neamt, Catalin Denciu, declaring him the hero of the year 2020, said the WHO official.

At the end of 2020, doctor Catalin Denciu sustained serious burns while trying to save several patients from the fire that broke out at the ICU ward of the Piatra-Neamt County Emergency Hospital last November.

He was transferred to a hospital in Belgium for medical treatment. Another ICU doctor and two nurses were also slightly injured in the fire that also killed ten COVID-19 patients.

The WHO high representative also spoke at the event about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccination, as well as about the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has deepened social division.

With vaccination and the lessons learned during the crisis, this year we will be able to celebrate this day with a little more hope and optimism, but also with more caution and concern. When COVID hit, it hit a global community already characterized by inequality that has meanwhile grown further, harming societies and economies, forcing us to deal with the shortcomings in our lifestyle and the systems we have built, Hans Kluge said according to the official translation.

In the context of the pandemic, he said, communities and health systems have been put under "unprecedented" pressure.

The impact will be felt months and years from now. Multidisciplinary approaches and additional support from the communities and the health and social security systems are needed. Health services have been quite severely affected globally. Millions of people were left to bear the brunt in terms of emotional, social and economic welfare. Estimates suggest that because of the loss of jobs and income, the current crisis is pushing previously stable households into poverty, the WHO official said.

He also emphasized that the pandemic has caused gender inequalities, stating that recent data from several countries shows that the number of COVID-infected women who work in health services is two to three times higher than that of men.


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