Willie Obiano
Willie Obiano

From Chuks Collin, Awka

The Anambra state chapter of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria has called on the state government to expedite action on the establishment of Ebola Isolation Centres across the state to forestall spread of the deadly viral disease, should there be an outbreak.

wpid-willie-obiano-grafitti-house-320x480.jpg?Comrade Patrick Obianyo who is the chairman of the union stated this known during an interaction with journalists in Awka yesterday.

Mr Obianyo who addressed a number of other pressing issues confronting medical and health workers in the state, said that they were aware that an Ebola Isolation Center was being established at the Anambra state University Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka.

The union decried the fact that the state government was not proactive enough in having preventive measures to combat the Ebola virus disease in the event of an outbreak.

He observed that the Ebola isolation centre being set up at Amaku general hospital was the only one in the state, and was yet to be completed emphasizing that the state government should not wait until there was a reported case of Ebola in Anambra state before it will start embarking on a fire brigade approach to solving the sensitive health issue.

The union chief stressed the need for government to put structures on ground to help combat the deadly disease should it find its way into the state .He revealed that the union held a workshop recently in Abuja where members were trained on preventive mechanisms for diseases. He commended the federal government, Lagos and Rivers state governments for their efforts in curbing the spread of Ebola disease in the country.

Obianyo also disclosed that the cold war between doctors and other health practitioners still lingers as other medical and health professionals refused that there is no way doctors would lord it over their colleagues in the medical and health profession .

He bemoaned the fact that the health sector in Anambra state has received little attention from the past administrations as he affirmed that past governments only spent state resources on missionary and private hospitals to the detriment of government-owned hospitals which according to him are more accessible by poor masses.

He lamented that health workers in the state still collected only 40 per cent of their salaries as government has refuse to pay them their real salaries , this he pointed out has led to the death of some the health workers without due entitlements and other incentives . According to him, the immediate past administration did not employ workers and those in service were not paid their due salaries and benefits. He said that equipment to work with in the hospitals were non-existent. ” We have only five nurses, six community health officers , one medical doctor and twenty-six health facilities in the local government… ”

Obianyo therefore urged the government of Dr Willie Obiano to consider recruiting more workforce as well as evolve a system of providing drugs to the primary health care centres to enable the rural poor have access to quality health care services in the rural areas as they cannot afford the hospital bills in the missionary hospitals and other private hospitals in the state.

He threatened that if by the end of year, the Obiano administration does not effect a positive change in the state health sector, the state medical and health workers’ union may be left with an option than to embark on industrial action.

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