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PAHO director salutes nurses, says tough road ahead


GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

PAHO director salutes nurses, says tough road ahead

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Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Dr Carissa F. Etienne has called for an end to stigma and discrimination against health care workers involved in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) fight.

Speaking during a media briefing today, International Nurses Day, the PAHO director paid tribute to everyone on the frontline during this pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, nurses have been essential in protecting people’s health and saving lives, but Etienne observed these health care workers were subjected to stigma and discrimination.

Etienne said COVID-19 had shaken Latin American and Caribbean economies “to the core”, with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimating a contraction of 5.3 in the region’s economy, the biggest drop in over 100 years.

The value of exports is expected to fall by 15 per cent affecting many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that rely on exporting commodities, while tourism has also been greatly affected, Etienne noted.

She said even as unemployment had already pushed many families into poverty, with more to follow, projections were that 29 million more people in the region would fall below the poverty line.

The pandemic has forced the region to address health, social and economic emergencies at the same time, Dr Etienne asserted. She said there must be a joint approach for success. (GC)

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