Health workers in the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, are protesting the non payment of their outstanding 2012/2013 promotion allowance.
The health workers held a peaceful protest on Friday, led by Mr. Okoh Austin.
The protesters are asking the Federal Government to fulfill its promises and release to them the outstanding allowances, and some other benefits which they claim their counterparts in other Federal Medical Centres are enjoying.
The Chairman of the Hospital Board, Mr Robert Theo, came out to pacify the workers and assured them that their case would be attended to.
Although the protesters promised to suspend the strike after Friday, they have, however, promised to hit the street again in another protest in the near future if their demands are not met.
The Kaduna State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has advised both the federal and state governments to focus more of their enlightenment campaign on the Ebola virus disease to the rural communities rather than concentrating on the urban areas.
The association said that this has become imperative because majority of the rural dwellers eat more bush meat than their urban counterparts, and are also not properly enlightened to know the risks associated with the Ebola virus disease.
The Kaduna State NMA Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, gave this advice at a press briefing in Kaduna on Saturday, where he debunked rumours spreading round the state since Thursday that there was an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the state.
He advised the residents to always confirm any issue relating to the Ebola case from health personnel instead of relying on rumours. He also advised them to adopt measures of protecting themselves from contracting the virus.
Mr Ibrahim reiterated the willingness of his members to attend to any case of Ebola or any other emergency in the state, despite the ongoing strike by medical doctors across the country.
He, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the Federal Government’s insurance cover for health workers who are attending to victims of Ebola virus, as well as the level of preparedness shown so far by both the Federal Government and the 36 state governments.
Members of the joint health sector unions, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) chapter, Abeokuta, have announced their plans to join the on-going indefinite industrial strike action embarked upon by the umbrella body.
The strike was embarked upon over the alleged non-implementation of the agreement reached with the federal government.
The FMC chapter has now announced 12 mid night tomorrow 21st for the commencement of its strike action.
A visit to the hospital premises at Idi Aba in the state capital revealed that normal services are being rendered to patients across departments expected to join the strike on Wednesday.
While blaming the government on the rot in the health care sector, the striking health workers said the action became imperative as a result of the nonchalant attitude of the federal government over their demands.
Health workers at the National Hospital, Abuja have embarked on an indefinite industrial action after their three-day warning strike ended on Wednesday night.
However, the health workers made up of the Senior Staff Association, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria are meeting with the hospital management to resolve the crisis.
The Spokesman for the Hospital, Dr. Tayo Haastrup told Channels Television that the striking workers will also meet with representatives of the Ministry of Health led by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ms. Fatima Bamidele.
The workers’ demands include the full implementation of the National Hospital condition of service, the training guidelines submitted to the hospital management in 2010 be adopted as training policy for the hospital, the re-establishment of a staff clinic to cater for the healthcare needs of staff and their dependants, and that the medical bill refund to the staff hitherto suspended should be restored.
Dr. Haastrup explained that measures are being taken to address the demands of the workers.
He added that patients in critical condition in the hospital are receiving treatment despite the industrial action.
A Magistrate Court in Kano on Tuesday remanded two journalists and one other person for allegedly making comments on radio that incited the killing of nine vaccinators in the state.
Chief Magistrate Ibrahim Bello of Magistrate Court 17 Gyadi-Gadi ordered for the continued detention of Yakubu Musa Fagge, Mubarak Muhammad Sani of Wazobia FM and the other person Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges, while their defence counsel, Musa Adamu Aliyu applied for their bail, citing relevant sections of the constitution and other cases.
According to the prosecutor, the journalists allegedly made comments on radio which “show that polio immunisations were an anti-Islam western conspiracy to cause infertility in women.”
The statement was allegedly made on Hausa Programme Sandar Girma two days before the nine female workers administering the polio immunization vaccines were killed.
The vaccinators were shot dead in two separate attacks.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the recent killing of health workers in Kano and Yobe states, saying it is “outrageous and unacceptable.”
In a statement signed by his spokesperson on Tuesday, Ban Ki-Moon strongly condemned the killings of three doctors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in Yobe state and some health workers in Kano, days earlier.
“The Secretary-General offers his sincere condolences to the families of all the victims” the statement read.
He noted that those killed were working selflessly to provide basic life-saving interventions to the most vulnerable people.
“Such attacks severely limit health workers’ access to the populations who need them most and could have devastating effects in the fight to improve the health of people everywhere.”
“These acts of outrageous violence towards health workers around the world are unacceptable” he added.
He encouraged all countries to protect health workers so that they can continue to better the health of populations and save lives.
President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the dastardly attacks in Kano state which claimed the lives of 9 health workers administering polio vaccines to children in the state.
In a statement, the president commiserated with the families of the victims and the government and people of the state.
President Jonathan gave the assurance that that the loss of the health workers will not be in vain as the Federal Government will ensure that the mission to eradicate polio from Nigeria is carried out to a very successful conclusion.
President Jonathan added that the Federal Government will not be distracted from its objective of accelerating the reduction of maternal and child mortality in all parts of Nigeria by mindless acts of terrorism.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Health and Chairman Presidential Task Force On Polio Eradication, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate said the health workers died because of their commitment to humanity and the love of their profession.
While commiserating with the families, friends and colleagues of the victims, the Minister stated urged security operatives to launch a large-scale investigation and leave no stone unturned to apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
Also, the Nigerian Medical Association has condemned the attack, describing it as an act of murder, especially coming at a time when Nigeria is struggling to leave the list of polio endermic countries.
The National Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) on Monday suspended its one-week nationwide strike with effect from Tuesday. This according to the union will give the federal government more time to meet its demands.
The Acting National Chairman of the Union, Felix Faniran announced the suspension at a press conference held at the NASU secretariat in Ibadan.
Mr Faniran, who said the decision was to minimise the sufferings of ordinary Nigerians, directed members of the union to resume work on Tuesday morning.
JOHESU, an amalgamation which comprises various professional unions in the health sector, had on May 7 embarked on the nationwide strike in federal health institutions.
Mr Faniran said the strike was justified because the government had refused to meet its 10 demands.
He, however, said six out of the demands of the union had been exhaustively discussed with both the Ministry of Labour and Productivity and Ministry of Health while they were resolved in favour of the union.
Mr Faniran listed the remaining four demands to be non-skipping of CONHESS 10, National Health Bill, consultancy status and payment of specialist allowance as well as negotiation of call duty and other professional allowances.
He urged the presidency to expedite action on the Presidential Committee Report on Harmonious Work Relationship among Health Professional and Workers.
Mr Faniran also implored members to show concern with Nigerians, adding that all issues raised would be resolved in their interest.