Stigmatization by the public often occurs with outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. This stigma begins with feelings of fear and worry about being infected, which causes a negative view in the community towards things related to COVID-19.
For example, Covid-19 sufferers and even their families have been labeled as spreaders of the disease, then followed by the attitude of people who stay away from them. Not only that, those affected by the Corona virus have experienced discrimination in several ways, such as house rentals, public transportation and others. Unfortunately, this experience of stigmatization is also shared by health workers, especially nurses, who have clearly sacrificed to help on the front line.
A survey conducted by researchers from the UI Faculty of Nursing in collaboration with the Indonesian Mental Health Nurses Association in early April 2020 for 2050 nurses throughout Indonesia showed that 140 nurses had felt humiliated by others because of their status as COVID-19 nurses or served in a local hospital. handling of COVID-19.
This survey also showed that around 135 nurses had been asked to leave their homes. Real forms of perceived rejection include threats of eviction (66 respondents), people around them avoiding by closing their gates/doors when they see nurses (160 respondents), and people staying away from nurses’ families (71 respondents).
This survey proves the rejection of nurses who have been reported in the media, such as not being allowed to return to their homes. Recently, a nurse in Central Java who died was refused to have his body buried in a public cemetery. It’s a portrait of a very sad stigma!
Furthermore, this stigmatization of COVID-19 nurses can cause psychosocial problems such as stress, sadness, and shame. Instead of feeling proud to be a hero, many nurses choose to hide their status as nurses. Nurses who are affected by this stigma also think about the bad impact that will be faced by their families and closest people, because they are also ridiculed and shunned.
Loads that are getting heavier, even though they have to work every day with very high risks. Meanwhile, in other countries, nurses were hailed as heroes until the British Government named the Hospital for COVID-19 services after the nurse figure, Florence Nightingale. In some of the circulating videos, it seems that the surrounding community is so grateful and proud to know that there are neighbors who work as nurses who serve COVID-19. They compacted together, gave a respectful greeting and applause to release the nurse who would be on duty. Is this happening at our place?
So what can be done to reduce this stigma? It should be grateful, since the news of the rejection of the nurse’s corpse surfaced, the community was stretched, Professional Organizations and other Organizations related to Nursing moved, nursing figures and politicians participated in expressing opinions, until finally an apology came from community leaders who refused, and was welcomed by the support and invitation of the Governor of Java. Central to stop stigmatization of nurses who provide services to COVID-19 patients. This is a concrete example of the collaboration of various parties in dealing with social stigma related to COVID-19 that afflicts nurses and other health workers.
The above efforts are in line with WHO recommendations which invite various parties including the government, professional organizations and other nursing organizations, educational institutions, community leaders, the media and the community itself. These are all important parties that can prevent and stop stigma. All parties need to be prudent when communicating on social media and other communication platforms, and demonstrate supportive/positive behavior regarding COVID-19 and its health workers. Some examples of efforts that can be made include:
(1) Spread facts and not myths. Stigma can occur due to lack of knowledge about how this new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is transmitted, treated, and prevented.
(2) Involve social figures such as religious leaders to raise awareness of the serious consequences of stigmatization on nurses and other health workers, and invite the community to support them. Respected celebrity favors can also be made to amplify messages to reduce stigma.
(3) Report in a balanced way. Media reporting must be balanced and contextual, disseminate evidence-based information and help combat rumors and misinformation that can lead to stigmatization.
(4) Build a community support network to show concern and empathy for nurses and other health workers on duty.
Finally, let’s stop the stigma related to COVID-19. Because stigma can hurt everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people who should get sympathy. Let’s fight COVID 19 by supporting each other, being positive to each other.
News source: https://www.industry.co.id/read/64184/penolakan-pemakaman-perawat-garda-front-covid-19-potret-stigma-social-memilukan