Just in: Lassa fever outbreak forces Kwara health workers to suspend strike

Just in: Lassa fever outbreak forces Kwara health workers to suspend strike

- Health workers in Kwara state on Thursday, January 24, called off its industrial action embarked upon since Monday, January 21

- The Kwara chapter of the Congress of the Coalition of Health Sector Unions (COHESU) called off the strike over the outbreak of Lassa fever, Yellow fever and Polio in the state

- COHESU said that it made the move as a humanitarian effort to help persons in the state affected by the diseases

The Congress of the Coalition of Health Sector Unions (COHESU), Kwara branch, has suspended its indefinite strike due to the outbreak of Lassa fever, Yellow fever and Polio in some parts of the state.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Joseph Adekanye, chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and Murtala Olayinka, chairman of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) in Ilorin on Thursday, January 24.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the health workers had embarked on an indefinite strike across the 16 local government areas of the state on Monday, January 21.

The workers were agitating over the non implementation of the 10 Consolidated Salary Structure (CONHESS) for workers.

The statement read: “The strike is suspended due to the current outbreak of Lassa fever, Yellow Fever and Polio virus in some parts of Kwara, to allow the participation of our members in efforts to curb the spread of diseases.

“That due to intervention of well-meaning stakeholders in the state, we hereby suspend the strike and our members are expected to resume work immediately with the hope that the state government will urgently address the issues that led to the strike.”

The statement further called the attention of the Kwara state head of service, Susan Oluwole, to the fact that both medical bodies were recognised trade unions.

It said the unions were established under Decree 4 of 1996, with membership spread across all the tiers of governments, therefore, should be represented at the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC).

“That full implementation of promotion should be paid rather than being short paid as noticed in the last payment of promotion exercise.

“We also request that the pay slip be given to our members on monthly basis as health workers in the 16 local councils are not certain how their salaries are being deducted.

“That seniority list be followed in the appointments of officers into various positions and those abnormally appointed should be corrected in order to maintain sanity in the system,” it stated.

The statement also called for resolution of the issue of manpower shortage, both at the state and local government levels in the health sector.

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It said there should be concerted efforts to implement the 10 per cent CONHESS for all the 16 councils health workers in the next JAAC meeting for the month of January 2019.

The statement also appealed to the Head of Service to use her good office to mediate on the lingering issues after which COHESU will have no option than to resume the suspended strike.

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that following the confirmation at least 60 cases of Lassa fever, the federal government had raised alarm and activated emergency response centres.

The government’s action signals the official declaration of the outbreak of the disease. The director general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, said in a statement there had been an increase in cases across the country since the beginning of 2019.

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Source: Legit.ng

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