Dengue, Flu and Covid epidemics have caused an increase in absences and overload of workers

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The first month back to school in Belo Horizonte was marked by the health crisis, caused by the dengue epidemic and a significant increase in Covid-19 and flu cases.

These illnesses have led to a series of worker absences, which have resulted in a true educational crisis, as the large number of leaves of absence, in an already very lean framework, has left several classrooms empty, overloading active teachers (the which generates more illnesses) and makes it impossible for students to access education.

Sind-REDE/BH has received reports that, in some schools, the number of absentees reaches 5 or 6 in a single shift. Educators are a group especially affected by infectious diseases, due to the characteristics of their work. The large number of students in the classroom and close contact with students makes these workers more prone to infections.

Along with this, vaccination coverage, whether for flu and covid-19, which has vaccination on demand or even for dengue, whose vaccination is exclusive to children aged 10 to 14, are still far from reaching the entire population.

Faced with such a drastic situation, it is impressive that there is no effective measure on the part of the Municipal Department of Education (SMED) to minimize the damage caused by so many absences. SMED should be an ally of individual and collective health, with policies that encourage vaccination and combat denialism that, during the most acute period of Covid-19, led to the death of more than half a million Brazilians — even today, it continues to make new victims. Against dengue, it is necessary to maintain regular cleaning and mosquito control efforts and make repellents available to the entire community.

Furthermore, Sind-REDE/BH reinforces the need to increase the number of teachers in schools, increasing the number of teachers from 1.6 to 2.0, which would mean in practice, two teachers per class. Because only more workers in each school unit can minimize the damage caused by the work overload generated by absences and medical leaves.

For years, Sind-REDE/BH has been denouncing that the school staff is insufficient even to meet day-to-day demands and the situation becomes even more evident in times of epidemics and outbreaks of infectious diseases. To achieve this, it is necessary to call on more teachers who have already passed the competitions and to hold new competitions urgently, so that the staff can be replaced at times like this. It is also urgent to expand vaccination against dengue to the entire population as well as promote measures capable of preventing the disease.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Dengue Flu Covid epidemics caused increase absences overload workers

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