The Federal Government through its Head of the Civil Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, has decried the rampant cases of sudden deaths among civil servants in the country.
Yemi-Esan, who raised the concern on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the newly established Employee Wellness Centre for civil servants, said many civil servants suddenly die as a result of work-related diseases that are even preventable.
She said, “We are witnessing a lot of work-related diseases, a lot of sudden deaths.
“You are sitting down in the office and then, the Director of Human Resources comes and says, mama, somebody has just collapsed in the office.
“It is not only restricted here in our country. The International Labor Organisation estimates that about 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year.
“According to the Organisation, this corresponds to 6,000 deaths every single day. The available data also reveals that around 160 million victims of work-related illnesses are recorded annually.
It is instructive to know that in the last six months, I have received messages from civil servants and Permanent Secretaries, not less than 10 Permanent Secretaries, who complained to me about one preventable disease or the other.
“They would say they are having excruciating pain in their neck, which they cannot sit down or stand up.
“This is one of the commonest illnesses that Permanent Secretaries have, after sitting down for so many years working in the office.
“This disease is preventable. I have also seen cases where civil servants do not know if their blood sugar is high or low.
“Most of us do not live long after retirement. This is a very sad phenomenon.”
Yemi-Esan disclosed that this pathetic situation of workers necessitated the building and commissioning of the Wellness Centre for them.
According to her, “This trend, necessitates greater attention to be paid to the health and safety of workers, especially civil servants in the country who are the empirical engine of development and most critical resource of the nation.
“The establishment of the Employee Wellness Centre within the Federal Secretariat Complex is one of the proactive responses by the government to the critical need of mitigating many preventable medical conditions which have become prevalent in our society in general, and among civil servants in particular.
“For this reason, it is important to emphasize the need for every one of us to seek useful, adequate and accurate information on common health conditions and how to prevent or successfully manage them.
“The need to comprehensively pay attention to our health status is more crucial, especially due to the sedentary nature of our jobs as civil servants coupled with the tendency to be solely committed to the demands of office and neglecting one’s physical well-being,” she explained.