Covid -19: Health workers seek free, accessible testing kits

Chukwuka Ugokwe, Awka

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The apparent concerns as to the rate at which the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading in the country, has made Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria ( MHWUN ) make a strong case concerning easily accessible testing kits across the health facilities in Anambra state.

They also called on the state government to employ more health workers and proper motivation to increase manpower and productivity in the health system.

In a Press Statement issued by the union and signed by its Anambra State Chairperson in Awka, Comrade Chinwe Orizu, it underscored the urgency of availability of testing kits for free services to enable people know their status.

Free COVID-19 testing must be available and easily accessible across all towns in the state.

There is a strong likelihood that there are more infected people than presently identified due to the low level of testing so far.” 
The Union said immediate recruitment of more health workers is critical at this challenging time, urging government to look in the direction of ensuring workplace safety of health workers as first responders.

We are now in a situation where decisive actions must be taken immediately and concrete commitments made to ensure that people’s health are not put in jeopardy by safeguarding public health system”

According to the Union, adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) must be available and all relevant WHO and ILO guidelines for occupational safety and Health implemented.

It added that state government should immediately meet with Trade Unions,particularly those in the health sector to jointly develop effective Covid – 19 response plan and assured of their readiness to do their best in providing health services.

However, government must realize that they also have the right to lay down their tools if their lives are endangered due to a absence of personal protective equipment or non implementation of required workplace safety and Health guidelines and protocols”

While commending government for the measures taken so far for the prevention and spread of the deadly virus, itregretted years of underfunding, understaffing, facility upgrade and availability of Pharmaceutical products which had worked against preparedness in emergency situations such as now.

Suzan O