About 2,897 Health Workers under the aegis of The Bauchi State Union of Volunteers and Temporary Health Workers has issued a two week ultimatum to the Bauchi State government in agitation for seeking permanent employment with the state government.
They said that the situation may forced them to withdraw their voluntary services in the twenty Local government areas of the state’s Public Healthcare facilities.
The State Chairman of the Union of Volunteers and Temporary Health Workers, Comrade Yusuf Aliyu Fada who stated this during a press conference on Tuesday at the Cikin Fada Primary Health Care center in Bauchi, said that over 100 healthcare facilities in the state are headed by it’s members without monthly allowances and employment over a decade.
The Chairman said that despite the fact that they are volunteers, they still raise funds among themselves to purchase medical consumables and drugs in order to render free medical outreach services to all the hard to reach areas of the state.
He said that some of the health services it’s members renders at the health facilities in the state include creating awareness campaign on second wave of Covid-19, organising rallies with posters and banners in compliance with NCDC protocol guidelines, organizing public lectures on importance of Covid-19 vaccine and the importance of supporting government in the fight against Covid and conducting spraying and chlorination of wells during cholera outbreak in the state voluntarily amongst others.
“During 2019 Gubernatorial manifestos presentation held at DEC conference hall G.R.A Bauch, we drew the attention of His excellency, the governor of Bauchi state, who was then contesting for the seat of the governor, on the plights of volunteer health workers in the state, despite the numerous Humanitarian services being rendered to vulnerable members of the society and healthcare facilities/hospitals across 20 LGA’s of the state”
“We pleaded with him to intervene when he emerged as executive governor of Bauchi state. His reply was that he will casualize the services of volunteer health workers within his 100 days in office. When he become governor of the state, after one year in office, all the promises were not fulfilled.
“We sent many reminding letters to the governor’s office, SSG office and Chief of Staff, but there was no respond. Thereafter, we then decided to conduct a peaceful demonstration with good faith, thinking that our letters of reminder have not yet reached the table of the governor, that was why there was no response”
“Our thinking was that hopefully, if we reach the government house protesting in large numbers, the governor will respond to our demands. We were well organized for the planned peaceful demonstration on the 2nd of March, 2020, but on 1st March 2020, we received a call from the Chief Security Officer to the Government house drawing our attention to have a dialogue with the government at the government house Bauchi around 8:30pm between our officials and the then commissioner of health, Dr. Aliyu Maigoro”
“With all these promises made several times without keeping their words, we are becoming hopeless especially considering the following factors which include over 10 years without single official employment in the health sector, no replacement for over 10 years despite exodus of health workers through retirement every blessed month, Increase in mortality rate recorded for many years, transfer of service and construction of over 150 new healthcare facilities within the 10 years, without single employment” he said
Reacting on the development, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr Samaila Dahuwa said that the state government is looking into their plights with a view of employing them, adding that they should exercise patience as the state government is not unmindful of what they are going through.
” They are volunteers meaning, they chose to volunteer not that someone asked them to. However, they are making great contributions in the health sector in Bauchi state. Nobody would be happy to get to the point of lacking manpower to the extent that people will volunteer.
“Why volunteers are allowed to work is so that when the government wants to employ workers, they will have an edge and be considered first. We plead with them not to withdraw their services but they should continue since they volunteered. They should also know that the government is working on their issues and they will soon be addressed” he said