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COVID-19: Nasarawa health workers begin strike over ‘poor welfare’

Resident doctors and other health workers at the Daltatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, have embarked on a seven-day warning strike to press for improved welfare.

The health workers include the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).

Alizi Maga, chairman of NANNM at the hospital, who spoke on behalf of the unions, said the strike became necessary following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the state government.

Maga said their demands include provision of adequate protective gears, 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.

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.

The state has recorded 113 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.

On Sunday, NARD declared that its members will be embarking on a nationwide strike starting from Monday, June 15 following the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given to the federal government to address their grievances.

The association said its members working at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres will also be withdrawn from providing services.

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