By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
More than 400 health workers on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has said.
National Chairman of JOHESU, Mr. Josiah Biobelemoye disclosed this yesterday during the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to its state councils in Abuja.
Biobelemoye noted that despite the increase in infections, health workers would not relent in protecting Nigerians.
He noted the situation on ground called for drastic solutions, hence the decision of the union to take it upon itself to distribute PPEs to its members.
“Since the outbreak of COVID- 19, over 400 members of JOHESU have been infected by coronavirus, we also need to support our own members who are working and sacrificing their lives for the generality of Nigerians, “Biobelemoye stated.
Among PPE to be distributed across 38 state councils of the union include, 50,000 pieces of face masks, 15,200 pieces of sanitisers, 2,000 pieces of disinfectants and 1,200 pieces of hand wash.
Speaking during the exercise, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi, said the federal government was appreciative of any donations made by public spirited Nigerians towards curbing the pandemic.
Mashi, who was represented by the Director Human Resources, Aliya Mohammed, noted that for some unusual reasons, Nigeria has been able to brace up to the challenges better than other advanced countries with technological ingenuity.
He said: “The emergence of Covid-19 has changed the way we live our lives and the health system in general, such that even the developed countries have been overwhelmed, talk less of Nigeria.
“The virus has affected the economy drastically, hence government cannot meet all the challenges that has been thrown up, that is why we welcome such donations by the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria.
“We have many frontline health workers taking up these challenges on behalf of other Nigerians and the federal government is always appreciate of these efforts, so we crave your understanding and more support to improve on our health care delivery in the country.”
Earlier, General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Emmanuel Ugboaja said health workers deserved commendation for being the first set of people to raise awareness on COVID-19 and its preventive measures.