The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed concern over the protection and welfare of medical workers as the frontliners in the care of victims of COVID-19 at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
The Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Agnes Sessi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, that the state government did not have definite agreement with the workers in respect of their welfare.
“The state government does not have clear definition on the remuneration the workers will get; no health insurance and we have been told that even from the entrance of the hospital, the virus is highly contagious.
“Definitely, lives of the workers, even the security guards, are on the line in the course of carrying out their jobs, ” Sessi said.
She urged the government to ensure that the workers are protected by providing them with the necessary tools to protect them.
The chairman also called on the government to provide accommodation closer to the hospital for the workers, as many of them lived far away from the facility.
“The government should, at least, provide accommodation, even if it is an hotel closer to the hospital.
“Most of the workers live with their family members, and it will be appropriate if they are provided for in order for them not to infect their family members.
“Also, of concern is that, most of the workers provide face masks for themselves and they put on their shoes to work.
“The standard practice is for the workers to step into antiseptic solution, even from the entrance into the hospital,” Sessi said.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in his tweeter handle, @ProfAkinAbayomi, said that the state government had a human resource plan for the workers.
Abayomi said: “We have hazard allowance, insurance and incentives to make sure that we are compensating them for their dedication and for actually risking their lives taking care of the patients in the ward.
“It is a very hard job, very risky; not many people want to do it, but we are doctors, that is our job.
“That is what we are trained to do; it is what we signed up to do and that is what we will do.” (NAN)