UNAIR expert: Excessive fear on Covid-19 due to lack of information

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Hario Megatsari S.KM., M.Kes, lecturer of Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Airlangga. (Photo: Personal doc.)

UNAIR NEWS – In the midst of increasing Coronavirus or Covid-19 number of cases, public anxiety and fear of transmission is a new problem that needs to be considered by various parties. Moreover, such anxieties and fears often cause community stigma for Covid-19 patients and medical staff who handle them. In fact, sometimes the stigma causes discriminatory behavior towards patients and medical staff.

According to Hario Megatsari S.KM., M.Kes, a lecturer of Faculty of Public Health (FKM) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), the stigma was caused by the community’s lack of understanding on the existing problems. Thus, people who are supposed to support medical staff do things differently.

“Medical personnel should be fully supported by all parties, including the public. So, psychologically they are comfortable to work, “said the lecturer known well as Fisto.

There are some forms of support that can be given by the public to medical staff, especially medical staff who deal with Covid-19, such as guarding the medical officer’s house, buying nutritious food, or looking after the child of a medical worker. Similar support can also be given to the families of Covid-19 patients.

“These efforts can calm the medical staff’s psychology in doing their work,” continued one of the lecturers in Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences FKM UNAIR.

The government and all levels of society have the same responsibility to eliminate the stigma of medical officers and patients with Covid-19. Moreover, people also need to learn a lot about Covid-19 so that they can see the problem proportionally.

“To increase public knowledge about Covid-19, it is necessary to carry out continuous education and efforts to reduce hoax. Remember, the hoax can be a trigger for the emergence of the stigma, ” he explained.

By looking at the current problems, indirect education such as through online media is considered to be the most logical choice. Even so, education can also be done directly to the community by taking into account several things to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

Direct education can be done in the village accompanied by a local health officer or community health center. Educational material used should use material or messages that have been issued by the government.

“When giving education directly, mind the safe distance of interaction and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE),” said Fisto.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fisto invited all parties to not stop learning and be more careful before sharing news. (*)

Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh

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