“Health workers during COVID-19 pandemics: lessons learned from South-East Europe”

The director of the South East Europe Health Network Secretariat participated at the 17th Meeting of the South East Europe Network for Workers’ Health, on 10 June 2021.

Address by Dr Mira Dasic, Director of SEEHN Secretariat

Dear Prof Bislimovska, Esteemed guests and colleagues,

Thank you for inviting me and the representatives, from the SEEHN Member States, to attend the 17th Meeting of the SEE Network for Workers’ Health, dedicated to the “HCW workers during COVID-19 pandemics: lessons learned from the South-eastern Europe”

During this COVID – 19 pandemics the mental health toll has risen and specialists predict huge repercussions mainly affecting the most vulnerable populations, adolescents and healthcare workers.

The emergency response and the day-to-day activities rely on the health workers who are required to double the effort and this in particular requires the psychological strength. Amid all these challenges, SEEHN in partnership with the SEE Network for Workers’ Health team carried out a study in the SEE countries to explore the impact of the crisis on the health workforce.

It is extremely important to have documented information on the situation and to draw lessons for both national and regional levels on what can be done in short, medium and long run to protect and improve the healthcare workers’ health and well-being. Ultimately, we need to focus on advocacy for tailored solutions for the safety of our people that guarantee the success of the emergency response and the resilience of our health systems.

The Covid-19 pandemics has revealed our health systems safety shortcomings. Without doubt, this crisis has put an unprecedented strain on the health workforce, as it has demanded significant clinical resources that challenged staff wellbeing.

I am looking forward to hear what are the results of our study based on which we should build and develop evidence-based policy recommendations.

We need to join forces to accelerate an equitable and sustainable recovery.

I am pleased to see such a large participation today. I am hopeful that our regional commitment combined with professional strategic guidance can maximize country-based health outcomes.

Finally, I wish to emphasize that this initiative is the solid proof of the benefit of our joint efforts that would not have been possible without a strong partnership between the South-Eastern Europe Health Network and the SEE Network for Workers’ Health.

Only with collective activities, we are able to identify strategic directions and to pledge for their implementation, in order to protect our health workers. This way we can lead transformation with a human-based approach in the Region, by putting people at the forefront of our decisions.

Thank you!   

17th SEENWH Meeting – Programme

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