David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, yesterday joined the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) strike, paralysing activities in the hospital.
THISDAY reports that patients and their relatives who visited the hospital walked around wearing long faces, while some were seen evacuating their loved ones, probably to private hospital.
The Chief Medical Director of NAUTH, Professor Anthony Igwegbe, a source said, had appealed to the striking workers to provide skeletal services in order to meet up with attending patientsâ€™ needs, but his plea was not heeded.
The source who pleaded anonymity told THISDAY that over 1,800 members of the unions working in the institution joined their colleagues across the country yesterday in the ongoing strike.
The source said: â€œProfessor Igwegbe told the striking workers that their skeletal services would be needed to ameliorate the plight of patients already on admission and those being brought in on a daily basis.
â€œHe pleaded with them to maintain emergency services so that we do not lose lives, stressing that health workers were under an obligation to save lives and that should be done for the sake of humanity.
â€œBut the workers ignored his appeal. We will watch and see how we are going to manage the situation.â€
When contacted, the Chairman of JOHESU, Ikenna Anahalu, insisted that the strike must continue.
He said: â€œWe will not go against the directives of our national body.
â€œThere must be 100 percent compliance to the strike until our national body instructs otherwise.
â€œWe were strictly warned not to go close to the hospital premises within the period of the strike.â€