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COVID-19: Nasarawa Govt appeals to health workers to call off strike

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The Nasarawa state government has appealed to Resident doctors and other health workers at the Daltatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia to call off the seven-day warning strike.

Ahmed Yahaya, Commissioner for Health, made the appeal while speaking to reporters in Lafia, the state capital on Wednesday morning.

Yahaya urged the workers to consider the plight of patients in the facility and suspend the strike. He gave assurances that the state government was working toward meeting their demands soon.

This newspaper reports that the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), had embarked on a warning strike on Tuesday to demand for adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and improved welfare.

Mr Alizi Maga, chairman of NANNM at the hospital, who spoke on behalf of the various unions told newsmen in Lafia that the strike became necessary following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the state government.

Maga said their demands include the provision of adequate protective gear, implementation of COVID-19 hazard allowances as well as an insurance scheme for their members fighting the pandemic.

He added the unions also want the implementation of their pending promotion of 13 years.

Maga said the unions would embark on an indefinite down-tool after the seven-day warning strike if the state government failed to meet their demands.

Also speaking on the development, Idoko Peter, chairman of ARD in DASH, said the alleged negligence by the government had led to their members being infected with COVID-19.

Peter said owing to lack of PPEs, 21 health workers in the state had been infected with COVID-19 while carrying out their duties.

He asked the state government to address the issues raised to avoid a shutdown of the hospital.

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