Dr Liasu Ahmed, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, has appealed to health workers in the centre to allow Lassa fever patients receive medical treatment.
Ahmed made the call on Tuesday in Owo while addressing the workers who resolved to conduct a peaceful protest between the hours of 8 a.m and 12 p.m for three days.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Joint Health Sector Union declared a nationwide 3-day protest rally nationwide which commenced on January 11.
The union members are demanding for payment of their April and May 2018 salary arrears, among other issues.
The CMD said: “The management is appealing to you to shelve your protest rally based on the prevailing situation in the hospital.
“That is, the upsurge of Lassa fever in Ondo State, where FMC, Owo, is the only treatment centre.
“If, however, you still want to proceed in spite of our entreaty, you are advised to seek alternative venue other than the hospital premises and its environ for the sake of the patients who will be coming to access healthcare delivery.
“And other staff members who want to go about their legitimate duties and we appeal that you shelve it and help sustain the peace being enjoyed in the hospital.”
Reacting, Olusola Adediji, the branch Chairman of JOHESU in the hospital, however said the protest would continue to make concerned authorities to address their grievances.
Adediji noted that the union was also sensitive to the plight of patients as they still render skeletal services within the hours of the protest.
He said: “We do not totally paralyse clinical services but allow skeletal work to continue as you can see we understand the critical situation of FMC, Owo, especially as regards healthcare delivery to Lassa fever victims.
“We do not have to disrupt everything. Some of us are still working because we put in passion and we are sensitive to the feelings of our patients.
“The directive from our national leadership was that the protest should be from 8 a.m to 12 p.m daily for the three days, but here in FMC, Owo, we stopped around 10.30 a.m yesterday and we will stop by 10 a.m today.
“But at the same time, we need to carry out the struggle to inform the government that we mean business and that they should implement our demands.”
NAN reports that the protesters carried placards with different inscriptions like: “JOHESU Members are the Original Owners of Skipping Arrears’’; “Pay our Money’’.
“Professional Autonomy is the Answer’’; “On Upward Review of CONHESS We Stand’’; “The Atrocities, Illegalities and Tyranny in the Health Sector Must Stop’’.