Nigeria: Health Workers Strike Paralyses Services At UniAbuja Hospital

A protest by Nigerian health workers.
20 April 2018

Activities at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) in Gwagwalada, have been paralyzed following an indefinite strike embarked upon by the hospital's branch of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

Our reporter, who was at the hospital at about 11:00am yesterday to monitor activities, observed few patients walking into the hospital, while some were leaving.

Markus Obadiah, who said he brought his wife for antenatal noted that the strike was doing more harm than good as patients in pain were left unseen by doctors.

He said: "My wife and I have spent over three hours waiting to see a doctor at the antenatal unit and up till this moment that I speak to you, she is yet to be attended to."

He said there was need for the Federal Government and the union to dialogue and end the strike in the interest of the masses.

Gladys Ezenwa, who brought her nine-year-old son for medical check-up said she waited for two hours but there was no doctor to attend to her child.

She said she had to proceed to St. Mary Hospital, where her son was attended to by a doctor.

"Although one of the doctors at the teaching hospital later came after about two hours and tried to attend to my son, he was stopped by the union members. I therefore proceeded to St. Mary Hospital," she said.

Speaking on the strike, the hospital branch chairman of JOHESU, Comrade Steven Oricha, said they decided to join the national strike as directed by the national body.

He said the union had in September last year suspended its strike but the Federal Government failed to redeem its pledge with the national body of the union.

"Besides, we had expected that between September to date that the government would have reached agreement with the national body, but that did not happen. And we will not call off the strike until government does the needful," he said.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer, UATH, Mr Frank Omagbon, said consultants and in-house officers were attending to patients.

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