Enugu State Government has approved Consolidated Health Workers Salary Scale as demanded by members of Allied Union of Health Workers in the state.
The consolidated salary scale is a yearning by the workers that has subsisted in the past years without success.
This gesture entails an increase in the take-home for various health workers in the state other than medical doctors who have had their own special salary scale approved earlier.
The salary scale is a practical step by Enugu state government to encourage the workers and create desirable industrial harmony in the health sector in the state.
Details of this development came in a briefing after the state Executive Council Meeting presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fintan Echochin, said the welfare package for health workers of the state is another giant stride by the state government to boost the workers morale for efficient service delivery.
Also during the briefing, state commissioner for information, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, disclosed that the governor has also approved release of N19.2 m as relief to widows of 19 soldiers of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, who have been stranded since their husbands fell on the line of duty.
On the health workers’ welfare, Dr. Ekochin explained that “This salary scale is what health workers have been agitating for in the state. Some state governments have already put their health workers on this salary scale, but the challenge there is that they were not able to be consistent in payment of salaries on it, but Enugu State has been consistent with payment of salaries, so bearing that in mind, the state government is now approving the payment plan.”
“It is good news for the state and the health workers. It will surely pacify their desires and we hope it would translate to more enthusiasm and productivity in their work places”, he explained.
When asked what the state is doing to curtail the outbreak of lassa fever, he explained that proactive measures of his ministry had helped the state to remain disease-free, adding that the ministry has positioned itself appropriately following the guidelines of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.
“We have Rapid Response Team reaching out to disease notification officers in the 17 local government areas of the state. Once there is suspicion of any case, there is an alert pathway and the patient gets isolated. We run tests following protocols, once there is a confirmed case, the public will be notified.
“In the meantime, Nigeria Medical Association has also gone out to make awareness with respect to basic infection, prevention and control at the lay man’s level. Information about hand-washing, rodent-free environment, rodent-free food storage and then bringing to hospital people that are suspicious are at the public domain now.
“We are giving out protective equipment in the form of gowns, gloves, sanitizers in all the state’s facilities and even up to the federal facilities (UNTH, Enugu), even to some faith-based organizations.
“We are doing this to protect doctors and nurses who from experiences are the ones who take the bad effects of the outbreak of these infectious diseases”, he said.
Also Governor Ugwuanyi’s gesture touched 96 widows of the fallen soldiers who took their plea to him during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, informing the governor that they were still in the barracks owing to nonpayment of their late husbands’ entitlements by the authorities of the Nigerian Army.