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JANUARY 23: Joint Health Sector Union Set for Another Protest
Date Posted: 15/Jan/2013


In spite of their recent calls and protests for the removal of Health Minister, Oyebuchi Chukwu, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) is set for yet another protest on January 23.
Across all federal teaching hospitals and states, the rally will be replicated. After that, we are coming back to Abuja for the mother of all rallies," said Dr. Ayuba Wabba, chairperson of JOHESU and president of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, one of four unions that comprise JOHESU.
"We are going to continue except changes are made to address such issues," Wabba told Weekly Trust. "You don't expect the problems to just vanish. The conflicts boil down to superiority, who controls what. Meanwhile, the substantive issue of providing quality healthcare has been relegated to the background."
The incessant rivalry has brought about untold hardship to persons seeking medical attention in mostly government hospitals. Patients are caught in the middle - in a background lacking in team work and team spirit, but choked by vaulting ambition and rivalry amongst professionals.
Doctors are on one side; on the other side are nurses, midwives, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, technologists, among others. These individuals are no more working as a team. "In the present circumstance, the team work and spirit have totally collapsed. Everybody is aware of that," Wabba said.
There is no doubt that this feud has apparently affected the health care system in the country.
Statistics of 2012 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate Nigeria is just halfway toward cutting the rate of children dying before age five.
Nigeria also ranks among the bottom 20 countries far from achieving measles immunisation coverage for children under age one - below countries as Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe. The number of women dying at childbirth exceeds regional average on the continent. Nigeria - along with Ethiopia, Chad and Sierra Leone - comprise four bottom countries with the lowest number of births attended by skilled personnel.
Reacting to the incessant crisis in the Health sector, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele said the sector needed "constructive and transparent support" by all stakeholders.

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