Nigeria Health Workers, Officials at Odds Over Unpaid COVID-19 Allowances | Voice of America


ABUJA, NIGERIA – Nigerian docs started a nationwide strike Monday over unpaid COVID-19 hazard allowances and insufficient protecting gear throughout the pandemic. Different well being employees’ teams and associations are threatening to hitch the strike. For the reason that nation’s first case, greater than 1,000 Nigerian healthcare employees have change into contaminated with COVID-19.

Disinfecting his luggage in his resort room, frontline nurse, Emasalome Julius has not seen his spouse and months previous child since Could when he left dwelling to hitch a staff of well being employees responding to the coronavirus at an isolation heart in Abuja.  

He says he didn’t let his household know concerning the nature of the job due to the worry and stigma hooked up to the virus.

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However weeks after day by day contact with covid-19 sufferers on the isolation heart, he contracted the virus.  He was handled on the heart for 11 days earlier than testing detrimental for COVID-19.

“My case was very important within the sense that I offered with virtually all of the signs besides that I did not lose my sense of scent. I had fever, cough, problem in respiration, diarrhea,” stated Julius, a frontline well being employee. “I had lack of urge for food; I couldn’t eat for shut to 2 weeks. By the point I used to be discharged, and I checked my weight, I had shed over 15 kilograms.” 

He continued working and obtained one month’s wages, however he nonetheless debated whether or not he ought to proceed the job.

Then two weeks in the past, Julius and a few of his colleagues say they didn’t get their wages.  After demanding cost, Julius says they had been dismissed from their jobs.

Feeling dejected, Julius has been in quarantine with out pay on this resort room as he waits till it’s secure to reunite together with his household.  

“For us we really feel we had been used, contaminated and deserted,” stated Julius.

For weeks healthcare staff have been demanding hazard pay and enough protecting gear for employees on the COVID-19 frontlines. Some 1,000 Nigerian well being employees have contracted the virus for the reason that first case in February.

Final month, medics marched the streets of Abuja protesting unpaid allowances and undue publicity of members to the coronavirus.

Administrative officer to the Abuja authorities, Christian Ohaa, responded to the protesters.

“We’re preventing this warfare with you and now we have not denied you of all of your allowances and advantages,” stated Ohaa. “Among the many 36 states and Abuja, we’ll be paying you repeatedly based mostly on our personal agreed allowances.”  

However the Nationwide Affiliation of Resident Docs (NARD) says the federal government has been insensitive to well being employees’ points. 

Selekeowei Kpuduwei is a regional head of the affiliation.  

“I believe that the federal government has been unserious and resident docs have been affected person sufficient and we have given them sufficient time to provide you with an answer.” stated Kpuduwei.
Strikes by medics are widespread within the West African nation the place healthcare system has been underfunded for years. 

However specialists are involved that the strike right now might have an effect on Nigeria’s capacity to reply successfully to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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