Photo by Femi Adewuyi

Photos: A ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Look at the Experiences of Nigeria's Frontline Pandemic Workers

Nigerian doctor and photographer, Femi Adewuyi, set out to document the realities of essential workers and patients at the peak of Lagos' coronavirus outbreak.

The workers who have now found themselves on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic have always been essential, we just did not notice them. Rather, it has taken a worldwide health crisis for us to realize that we depended on them and that they are risking their lives to keep the world alive. With the lockdown on most nonessential work, we are now seeing the faces of the individuals we need to survive the pandemic.

Healthcare workers are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection than the general population because they are frequently in contact with affected individuals. According to the World Health Organization, one in ten health workers is infected with coronavirus in some countries. In May, reports by the International Council of Nurses revealed that at least 90,000 healthcare workers have been infected and more than 260 nurses had died in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Nigeria, over 800 healthcare workers have been infected with the coronavirus since the first case was confirmed in February. "We have had 812 health care workers infected, they are not just numbers, 29 of these work for NCDC, they are people I know, they have families, wives and children," said Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

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