Saluting health care professionals – frontliners at Covid-19 global response


Dr. Kithsiri Edirisinghe, CEO/Founder/Director Academic of International Institute of Health Sciences

The year 2020 has forced all people living around the world with one of the biggest challenges since World War 2. This crisis of the Covid 19 pandemic, or more commonly known as the Corona Virus is a threat which is unprecedented and whilst the health impacts and casualty rates increase globally, the economic impacts and burden remain on the increase exponentially. Millions of professionals employed in various industries, from the airline industry to large corporations currently face uncertainty due to the financial implications surrounding the global lockdown.  The International Labour Organization states that this catastrophe could push an excess of 25 million people to unemployment, underemployment or to work in poverty.

Whilst observing the negative impact of this catastrophe, the International Institute of Health Sciences (IIHS) salutes the health care professionals of the world for battling through the pandemic. Despite the virus having a high infectious rate, health care teams representing a wide range of services do not have the luxury of working from home. Nurses, doctors, medical laboratory technicians, physiotherapists and all allied health servicemen are currently the front-line heroes of the disaster. Whilst promoting essential services and care to the patients at this time of need, at a personal level, the health care professionals are not only risking their lives but also risking the lives of their families who remain at home. In the face of poor resources, including lack of access to equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), there has never been a more appropriate time to openly thank our all health care professionals for the selfless and compassionate acts.

The International Institute of Health Sciences (IIHS) in its 18 years of existence has contributed to the national and international workforce by providing educated nurses, physiotherapists and bio-medical scientists armed with the latest up to date knowledge and skills by incorporating research and evidence-based practice. In the present day it is vital for professionals in the health system to integrate such vital dimensions of education in to their practice. Furthermore, with exposure to the international standards in education the health care professionals produced remain up-to date with recommended practice. In Sri Lanka, IIHS has contributed to over 500 graduate nurses who are currently working in the front-line of the Covid-19 response. Furthermore, an additional 1500 students following the Bachelors in Nursing degree continue to work in the major hospitals dedicated to battling the virus. Additionally, a further 500 IIHS alumna provide health care globally- in Australia, United Kingdom, Europe, United States of America and many more countries.

Despite the current global economic impact and reduction in job security concerns, the demand for health care professionals remain on a steep increase as the world continues to struggle to provide adequate services, especially in the face of disasters.

Dr. Kithsiri Edirisinghe, (CEO/Founder/Director Academic of IIHS) adds, “18 years ago IIHS was founded with the intention of providing skilled labour to the world in the form of health care professionals, with a special focus on nurses. Despite the stigma surrounding the profession which negatively impacts on recruitment, we have seen an increase in the desire for the profession over the years. Nurses, due to their nature of work, skills and education gain an enormous amount of respect locally and internationally. Our Graduate nurses are armed with an international degree from Coventry University (United Kingdom) or Open University Malaysia, thus contributing to great clinical outcomes.” Elaborating further, Dr Kithsiri stated, “In the developed countries, a Registered Nurse earns approximately Rs 7 lakhs and many of our Sri Lankan nurses who choose to seek foreign employment add to the country’s foreign exchange through this process. We have also produced many diploma holding nursing, physiotherapy and bio-medical students who have continued pathway programs to complete degrees in well-renowned universities in Australia, Finland, United Kingdom and United States of America. More than 500 of these students have now obtained registration and are no doubt working as frontline health care professionals during this pandemic. As an education institute we are proud to be producing fine health care professionals to the world at this time of need and we thank them for their dedication to the service”.

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