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German Doctors Pose Naked to Protest Lack of PPE

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Apr 28, 2020

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Image Credit: Blanke Bedenken

A group of German doctors have come together to post naked pictures and selfies of themselves to protest against the shortage of protective clothing and equipment for healthcare workers, who are acting as the first line of defence against the Covid19 pandemic.

Explaining what prompted this, the doctors said that their requests for PPE had gone unanswered for months. “The nudity is a symbol of how vulnerable we are without protection,” Ruben Bernau, a general practitioner in the group, told Ärztezeitung, a German newspaper for medical professionals. Members of the group posted pictures with stethoscopes dangling around their necks as they are seen posing behind files, toilet paper rolls, and general medical paraphernalia.

Having banded under the name Blanke Bedenken, or Naked Qualms, the members of the group drew inspiration from 61-year-old French doctor, Alain Colombié, who had posted a naked picture of himself wearing an arm-band that said “cannon fodder,” to highlight the lack of PPE for healthcare workers.


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Last month, hospitals across Germany had reported thefts of hand sanitizers, and large quantities of disinfectants, respirators, gloves and protective clothing, which resulted in hospitals ramping up their security. However, doctors are continuing to face acute shortages of PPE, as the protest group lamented on their Twitter feed.

A recently concluded study in Germany, cited by The Guardian, had found that healthcare workers are lacking an appalling number of PPE — around a 100 million single-use masks, 50 million filter masks, and 60 million single-use aprons and disposable gloves. The chief executive of the German Medical Technology Association, Marc-Pierre Möll, has appealed to the German government to increase domestic production in order to meet the needs of healthcare workers.

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Written By Devrupa Rakshit

Devrupa Rakshit is an associate editor with The Swaddle. She is a lawyer by education, a poet by accident, and a painter by shaukh. She has her own podcast called #DateNightsWithD on Spotify. You can find her on Instagram @devruparakshit.

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