Lagos State Government has commenced a psychosocial support capacity-building programme for frontline health workers involved in the State COVID-19 response, as part of efforts towards ensuring their wellbeing and emotional health.
The programme, which commenced on Thursday, 29th September, 2021, is scheduled to hold in two batches from the 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 organised by the Ministries of Health and Establishment, Training and Pensions, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the capacity building programme will help in providing support to manage stress and burnout associated with the response and, ultimately, improve their psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing.
He added that the training is designed to focus on compassion fatigue, mental health, lifestyle adjustment and effective clinical communication.
Prof Abayomi said: “The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recognises 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 recognise 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 programme is scientifically and specifically designed; 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 collate data to inform next steps”.
The Commissioner noted that the first phase of the training focuses on frontline workers at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, because their case is an emergency.
“They’ve been under severe stress and strains, they have exhibited mature signs of burnout and we acknowledge this. We hope to replicate this training for all health workers across our health facilities”, Abayomi said.
He disclosed that the training is in line with the directive of the Lagos State Governor and designed to stimulate efficient and effective service delivery in the health sector, especially at a time of pandemic response.
The Commissioner maintained that the Psychosocial Support Training and capacity building workshop was long overdue, emphasising the need to equip health workers with necessary skills and coping mechanisms for resilience in the war against emerging infectious diseases and biosecurity threats.
Speaking in the same vein, the Commissioner for Establishments, 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 Establishments, Training and Pensions to unravel the causes of fatigue and burnout among health workers with the aim of addressing it.
Her words: “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 T.H.E.M.E.S and every single pillar of the 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 wellbeing”, she said.