Health workers unions in Kaduna State have appealed to the Kaduna State Government to improve security and surveillance at all health facilities in the state to protect health workers.
This was contained in a communique jointly issued by the state’s medical unions on Saturday in Kaduna.
It was signed by Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, the state Medical Association President; President of Residents Doctors Association, Dr. Umar Musa; and Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union, Abdullah Mohammed.
The communique criticised the state of insecurity at health facilities in the state.
It said: “Where such is lacking we would recommend closure of such facilities until the government can provide such.
“As health workers we must apply the principle of ‘injury to one is injury to all’ and the government must note with all sense of responsibility that security for all health workers is sacrosanct.”
The statement strongly criticised the general state of insecurity in the state.
It added: “The State Government should immediately deploy armed security personnel to all our facilities and other possible targets to ensure that healthcare workers are adequately protected.”
It said it was in order “to provide the continuum of healthcare services to all residents of the state as and when needed”.
The association called on the State Government and all the relevant security agencies to do all in their powers to ensure that their colleagues in captivity returned to their families safely.
It said the measure would boost the morale and confidence of the health care workers in the State, which were on a low ebb.
It said: “We are not oblivious of our sacrifice in this trying time in our Local Government Areas, State and Nation.
“As such we need a more secured state that is ready and prepared to respond collectively in the face of regional threats to health security through regional partnerships that bring together all affected states and stakeholders in all relevant sectors.
“Government should gather the best technical support and mobilise the necessary resources for effective and timely implementation of measures that could protect the healthcare workers, the patients and their caregivers.”
The statement called for the immediate recall of the health workers retrenched in the state.
It said: “Security is everybody’s responsibility, so every health worker needs to be extra cautious.
“However, the government should take responsibility to safeguard the healthcare workers.”
According to the statement, if the resolutions were not met within five working days, the association will be left with no choice but to down tools.
The statement also observed the state of insecurity in the state, which led to the abduction of two health workers at Rural Hospital Idon, Kajuru Local Government Area on April 22, adding: “It is very unfortunate that the life saver’s life is not safe in Kaduna State.”
It also stated that Hospitals/Clinics in the state were not well secured, being that they were manned by poorly motivated and under trained private security personnel some of whom had not been paid for over a year.
It said: “They are insufficient and not equipped to handle the situation of insecurity.
“There is a change in tactics of the bandits; we are fully aware; and it is meant to cause panic by attacking soft targets such as our hospitals.”
The association also expressed dismay at the lack of proper lighting and perimeter fencing in government’s health facilities.