Salutes frontline health workers for their courage in curbing virus
By Chioma Obinna
As the world celebrates this year’s International Workers Day, National President Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, NUAHP, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna yesterday said the outbreak of coronavirus has exposed the infrastructural and developmental deficits in all facet of the nation, particularly, in the health sector.
In a message to mark the day with the theme: “60 years of Nationhood: Insecurity, Wage, Poverty and the Future of Work in Nigeria,” he added that failure in successive leadership in Nigeria to fix basic infrastructures in health, education, road, power among others was responsible for the mass poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in the country.
He said: “As we commemorate this year’s International Workers’ Day, the Nigerian labour movement must redefine its role in national development. The 60 years of nationhood is paradoxically a wasteful period and it is time to fight for the soul of Nigeria and reposition it politically, economically, and socially.”
Ogbonna stated that the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic must be sustained by all, urging health workers to continue the struggle and ensure they win the war as soon as possible.
He said the theme was apt and calls for sober reflection and proactive response to the issues of governance and national development.
He said the union will ensure that incentives and protective equipment required to fight the novel virus are provided by the government and relevant authorities through continuous agitation.
Noting that the pandemic was spreading like wildfire and killed over 200,000 globally, he prayed for the souls the departed to rest in perfect peace.
“I salute the gallantry effort of our members and other healthcare workers on the frontline fighting the novel virus that has for the first time in recent history shaken the whole world to its foundation. The union will continue to advance the welfare of our members and demand for your entitlements during and after this war.,” he added.
Ogbonna assured their members that the union would sustain aggressively the demand for upward review of hazard allowance post-COVID for healthcare workers from ₦5, 000 to a minimum of ₦100, 000, payment of withheld salaries of April and May 2018 by Federal Health Institutions, implementation of 30th September 2017 agreement, implementation of adjusted CONHESS, implementation of all court judgments, implementation of consultancy status and payment of specialist allowance to our deserving members, implementation of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, comprehensive insurance coverage for healthcare workers across the board without discrimination and the immediate establishment of National Health Institutions Trust Fund (NHITFUND) for adequate funding and upgrading of health institutions.