COVID-19: Health workers begin 7-day warning strike in Kwara

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IMG 20201019 WA0001 - COVID-19: Health workers begin 7-day warning strike in Kwara

Members of the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, on Tuesday, commenced a seven-day warning strike over poor provision of personal protective equipment, PPE, and 17 other grievances.

This is just as they complained that 18 nurses and seven supportive staff in the hospital have tested positive to coronavirus in the course of their duty, according to the union chairman, Olatunde Oluwawumi at a press conference in Ilorin.

Other grievances of the union included poor staff welfare, delay in the release of 2020 promotion letters, 2009/2011 and 2018/2019 promotion arrears, overtime allowances and skipping arrears of about N426m among others.

The union said the UITH management was yet to have a well equipped Covid-19 isolation centre, though one of the wards at the hospital has been converted to isolation centre by the authorities.

The union complained that many nurses working at the isolation centre were not properly kitted as there were no personal protective equipment at the facility.

“Presently, we have 18 nurses and seven sub staff that had tested positive for Covid-19. We want better protection and adequate PPE.

“What we are due for should be given to us. We are lacking in a number of things.

“They are exposing our lives to danger. It is now that they are trying to rectify the issue of PPE. They are just promising us,” they lamented.

The union members said their agitation centres on the need for the ward converted to Covid-19 isolation centre to be properly adjusted to suit the purpose in order not to infect people working there.

With 22 nurses working at the centre, six cleaners, and six porters, the union asserted that “people working at the centre are not properly taken care of.

“We have a ward converted to isolation centre at the UITH. We don’t have our own isolation centre. Government ought to have built one for us.

” Based on the increase in the number of patients testing positive for the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to take them in here and nurse them,” the union added.

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