In human history in 1918 Spanish flue was the reason for 50 million or more deaths. It has been the benchmark for other pandemics and emerging diseases. Another growing epidemic of novel coronavirus infectious disease (Covid-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Coronaviruses comprise a large family of viruses that cause respiratory and intestinal infections in animals and humans, including the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and SARS. SARS first emerged in the Guangdong province, China, causing the 2002–2003 epidemic. Since mid-December 2019, several cases of a pneumonia-like disease (with symptoms including fever, difficulty in breathing, cough, and invasive lesions on both lungs) of unknown cause have emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan (1, 2).
During this pandemic period mental health services with other countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in a different population, vulnerable groups of the communities like elderly individuals, survivors of COVID-19 infections as re-infection is high, and frontline health care providers need proper psychological support. And sufficient guidance and counseling are essential, especially in the developing world. With a timely and close collaboration with different nations and institutions, the mental health challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can be adequately addressed (3).
Globally, there have been more than nearly 6 million confirmed cases, and more than 357,000 registered deaths. On March 3, 2020, the first patient with COVID-19 was detected in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From then until May 28, 2020, another 831 COVID-19 cases were identified in Ethiopia (4).
Health care providers are in front in fighting the coronavirus spread by making themselves the risk of contracting the disease. Keeping the well-being in the working environment for a health care provider and an effective plan is essential in each phase of a pandemic (5).
As the coronavirus pandemic rises, trained health providers are a key resource to combat the infection. They are the main priority in many countries, but those healthcare providers have many concerns during this period like availability of necessary equipment’s in addition to this they have great concerns for their safety as well as their families because they are worried about transmitting the infection to their family members (6).
In Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic is rampantly is rising today, even though, there are key constraints to avert the progression of the pandemic, especially in human resources and shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). In the area of limited or shortage of protective equipment, the risk of COVID-19 infection and dying will be high among frontline healthcare providers this will be a huge blow for countries and healthcare providers as a whole for all communities. Africa is known with limited resources, weak health system which will be made double burdened. As a result, the government is expected to full fill the necessary equipment and keep the safety of healthcare providers (7).
Personal protective equipment is the main protection for healthcare providers specifically if the virus spreads to the community, as the numbers of patients with unknown contact history. In addition to this Safety of workplace and fulfillment of Standards for protection, furthermore training how to use and remove personal protective equipment is needed to increase preparedness (8).
Health care providers are in the front line to face COVID-19 outbreak and as a result, they are at greater risk of exposure to bio-hazards that put them at risk of infection with an outbreak pathogen (COVID-19). Hazards include pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma, and physical and psychological violence (9).
As the world is being hit hard by coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, health care systems of countries in the world became stunned with a high demand for infectious patients’ needs testing and care. Averting coronavirus pandemic infection is on the hands of health care workers (HCWs) and patients rely on the effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE). A serious shortage of all of this equipment is expected to develop or has already developed in areas of high demand. So, An increased demand for PPE relies on continuous and reliable supply as the hospitals are overwhelmed by a rapid increase in ill COVID-19 patients (10).
The findings of this study will help in many aspects such as, better planning for awareness campaigns, guide different health authorities accordingly to modulate their policies as needed and to correct some untoward behaviors to stop the spread of the virus which may result in rapid control and containment of the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the preparedness and approaches in tackling the transmission of COVID-19 among health care workers at North Shewa zone hospitals.