Healthcare workers care for us, but who’s caring for them?

Wu Rulian, HIV-OSH, ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia

Wu Rulian, HIV-OSH, ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia

In 2014, during a routine surgery on a patient with liver cancer at a provincial Chinese hospital, Dr. Xu Jun, 35, accidently cut himself with a scalpel.

He got worried.  What if he got infected by HIV or hepatitis? He waited for months for a diagnosis, fearing the potential impact of illness on his job and ability to care for his three-year old son. One of his colleagues had previously lost her job after getting infected with HIV.

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A big team with a clear goal

Information Officer, ILO Country Office for the Philipines.

The referee blows the whistle, indicating that the match is about to start. As I help my 10-year old son put his goalie gloves on, I recall the time he asked me about children working with dirty hands.

It was five years ago. I had just returned from a field visit to an ILO project in Camarines Norte, Philippines. As I was unpacking, he saw some pictures I had taken of children working in gold mines.

“Why are those children working with dirty hands, Mama? I have clean hands and a nice watch but they don’t. Why are they not in school?”  Continue reading