Covid-19: NMA demands increase of allowances, says N5k hazard pay insult to health workers

By AdvocateNews on 02/01/2021

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The Nigerian health workers have called for an increase in their hazard allowance as they are major front liners in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a webinar recently, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Innocent Ujah, said all health workers are being paid N5,000 a month as hazard allowance, a sum he described as degrading and insulting.

“At the moment, health workers are being paid N5,000 as hazard allowance despite an increased risk in dying and ill health. This is an insult,” he said.

The webinar, titled ‘Citizens’ Response to Covid-19 Second Wave and the State of the Health Sector in Nigeria’, was organised by the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB), a coalition of over 80 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and organised labour, led by Femi Falana.

Hazard pay, a wage supplement paid to workers who do dangerous jobs, has been the grouse of Nigerian health workers since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health workers, being the first respondents to patients, have continued to be at risk of exposure to COVID-19 virus.

Although health workers have been advised to use full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before attending to patients, many do not have access to this equipment and as a result, over a thousand health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

As of July, over 10,000 health workers in 40 Africa countries have been infected with COVID-19 virus, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Recall the NMA recently announced the deaths of 20 doctors within a week from complications arising from coronavirus, a news President Muhammadu Buhari described as ‘sad’.

Posted 02/01/2021 7:39:54 PM

 

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