Nigerian healthcare workers strike over pandemic conditions

15 Sep 20

Nigerian health workers have begun a strike over demands for an allowance for dealing with Covid-19 patients.


Lagos, Nigeria (photo: Shutterstock)

The Joint Health Service Unions, an umbrella body of health worker unions and associations representing workers such as nurses and , said the strike would last for seven days from Monday.

Their demands include more personal protective equipment, life insurance, adjustments to pay structures and the payment of a hazard allowance for working during the pandemic.

JOHESU said it would launch an indefinite strike if its demands were not met within a week.

The organisation said the health sector faces “poor funding and infrastructural decay”, and in a statement blasted “discriminatory policies and favouritism” rife in organisations.

“Nigerians should take note, we have exhausted all alternative means of dispute resolution before declaring this warning strike,” the statement read.

“Failure to respond to our demands will result in indefinite strike action.”

Health minister Osagie Ehanire said the ministry was “doing all in its power” to “address the bones of contention”.

“I acknowledge the commitment of health workers who continue to man the front lines in the fight against this disease, and use this opportunity to appeal to JOHESU to suspend the industrial action, so as not to erode the gains we have made in healthcare delivery,” he said.

On Monday, Nigeria recorded 132 new cases of Covid-19, taking its total confirmed cases to 56,388.

There have been 1,083 deaths from the virus in the country.

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