The Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) has called on federal and state governments to provide adequate isolation centres, ventilators, testing kits and other necessary equipment that will allow health workers to be fully functional nationwide.
In a statement signed by Dr. Ogbonna and Comrade Martin Adekunle Egbanubu, National President and General Secretary respectively, NUAHP demanded for immediate payment of ₦100, 000 ‘Special COVID-19 allowances’ to all health workers at the frontline of the war against coronavirus.
“In view of the fact that our members and other health workers in Nigeria are patriotically committed to the fight against the COVID – 19 pandemic. It is absolutely imperative for the Federal Government to encourage and motivate them through immediate upward review of hazard allowance for health workers from the paltry ₦5, 000 to ₦100,000, payment of withheld salaries of April and May 2018 to health workers in Federal Health Institutions, Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHES) adjustment and 30 th September, 2017 agreement,” the statement said.
NUAHP appealed to the Federal Government to set up a committee comprising of representatives of health workers’ unions, government, organised private sector and civil society organisation to oversight and monitor all equipment and funds put in place by government and those donated by China’s richest man, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies by ensuring judicious distribution and prevent diversion to private hospital or private use.
“Hence, EFCC/ICPC should ensure that all private health facilities and institutions acquired illegally and at the expense of public health institutions should be immediately impounded and converted accordingly as part of measures to address this national emergency imposed on us by COVID–19 pandemic.
“It is obvious that the outbreak of coronavirus has exposed the inadequacy and poor state of our health infrastructures at all levels, consequently we urge the Federal Government to commence a holistic approach to proper funding and management of the health industry in Nigeria. We suggest the establishment of National Health Institutions Trust Fund (NHITFUND) similar to Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND). All funds donated during this period should be used as a take-off. Trade unions in the health industry should be part of the formation, implementation and monitoring of the scheme.
“We also demand for the provision of more Personal Protective Equipment and free medication for all health workers at the frontline of the war against the pandemic.
Given the high risk of infection faced by health workers, we also demand that Federal Government commences life insurance scheme for all health workers; this will further encourage them to remain devoted to save the rest of the populace from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“To our teaming members and their families who are at the frontline and likely to be victims as a result of their professional callings, we encourage you to be strong and do your best in the service of God and humanity, as you make use of the preventive and protective equipment in discharging your life saving duties. The union leadership will continue to pray for you and give you the needed support, encouragement and solidarity.”
NUAHP commended President Mohamodu Buhari for acknowledging, in his national broadcast on Sunday, 29th March, 2020, the patriotic efforts and sacrifices of health workers at the frontline of combating COVID–19 in Nigeria.