By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Lagos State Government has begun a psychosocial support capacity building training for frontline health workers involved in the State’s Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID19) response.
The training is a part of the effort geared towards ensuring the wellbeing and emotional health of the workers, a news statement from the state’s ministry of health highlighted.
The program which started on Thursday, 29th September, 2021 is scheduled to hold in two batches – from 29th to 30th of September in the first batch and from 4th to 5th October, 2021 in the second batch.
Speaking at that flag-off of the workshop organized by the Ministries of Health and Establishment, Training and Pensions, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the capacity building program will help in providing support in managing stress and burnout associated with the response and ultimately improve their psychological, emotional, and physical well-being.
He added that the capacity building The training is designed to focus on compassion fatigue, mental health, lifestyle adjustment and effective clinical communication.
He said: “The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu recognizes the importance of frontline health workers who have worked to contain the COVID-19 public health threat thereby preventing the collapse of Lagos economy and the breakdown of law and order.
“In Lagos State, we recognize that health and delivery of health is both an economic and security issue. If you don’t have health you don’t have an economy and if you don’t have an economy, you don’t have security.
“This program is scientifically and specifically designed; it is not an ordinary training program. It is expected to explain and give us deep insight into the causes of fatigue and mental health issues among our healthcare professionals as well as collect data to inform next steps”. Abayomi noted that the first phase of the training is focusing on frontline workers at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, because their case is an emergency case.
“They’ve been under severe stress and strains, they have exhibited mature signs of burn out and we acknowledge this. We hope to replicate this training for all health workers across our health facilities”, the Commissioner said.
Abayomi disclosed that the training is in line with the directive of the Lagos State Governor and targeted at prioritizing the mental health and wellbeing of the frontline health workers involved in the COVID response.
He stated that the training is part of the capacity program for the State health workforce and designed to stimulate efficient and effective service delivery in the health sector especially at a time of pandemic response.
The Commissioner, who disclosed that the Psychosocial Support Training and capacity building workshop is long overdue, emphasized the need to equip Health workers in the state with necessary skills and coping mechanisms in order to maintain resilience in the war against emerging infectious diseases and biosecurity threats.
Speaking in the same vein, the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle said the training was necessitated by series of research carried out by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Establishment, Training and Pensions to unravel the causes fatigue and burnout among health workers with the aim of addressing it.
Lagos has always been the centre of excellence and will continue to be. I don’t think there is any other state that has put together this type of training together for their staff.
“We have run a series of training for our health workforce during the course of the year, this has shown that there is a focus in ensuring that we develop the capacity of our workforce.
“People are the foundation of the THEMES agenda, and every single pillar of THEMES agenda has as its foundation, the human resource. This is a major step to achieving a greater Lagos.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the governor for deeming it fit for us to focus on our health workforce and their well being”, She said.