What the piling bodies and helplessness are doing to our overworked health workers

Healthcare workers all over the world are exposed to tremendous levels of risk for anxiety, depression, burnout, insomnia, moral distress and post-traumatic stress disorder | Image - Immayabharathi K

Hyder Sherif, a junior health inspector in Kerala, was a tranquil, silent, diligent and workaholic person. According to his colleagues, he was a family man too, with very limited socialisation. He never took a holiday since April 2020, when the Covid-19 lockdown was announced in India. He took his laptop home even on Sundays, worked round the clock like many other health workers. He never went to a cinema, dinner or took a holiday with his family for a year.

Early this year, amid his relentless battle, Sherif tested positive. He took leave and quarantined himself at home for 14 days. But after that, he did not return to work. When colleagues tried to persuade him, he told them he had a serious mental block.

“I was told that he used to take the lunch packed by his wife and go out as he used to do in the past (as if towards hospital), but he never reached. It was late by the time we came to know about it,” Raju, health inspector at the Family Health Centre at Vadakkekkadu in Thrissur district, and a colleague of Sherif, told The Federal.

On February 18, Sherif hanged himself at his home.

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