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COVID-19: FCT Health Workers Face Payment Crisis

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By Chuks Ekpeneru

FCT health workers engaged in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic are battling a financial crisis arising from non payment of their allowances since September.

That is despite the claim by the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello, that over N28 billion was spent on the management of COVID-19 in Abuja.

This comes at a time the world is facing a more dangerous second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to team leader at UATH Gwagwalada, Dr. Yunusa Thairu,  government needs to provide more oxygen and as well as boost the morale of the frontline FCT health workers.

The medical superintendent at the Thisday Dome Centre, Dr. Molokwu Victor, attested to the fact that all categories of frontline workers have not gotten their due allowances since September, 2020.

“All categories of staff are being owed their allowances, but the Secretary for health has promised that we should expect something soon, that the FCT Administration is working on it,” Dr. Molokwu said.

“We have been here since September working, both doctors, nurses, hygiene and maintenance teams have all been here and for four months now, no allowances. This place has just been handed over to FCT last month, all this while it had been the Federal Ministry of Health,” Molokwu added.

The call for payment of the allowances of the FCT health workers also comes at a time the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) raised the alarm that 20 doctors have lost their lives in a week in the country.

According to Dr. Enema Amodu, NMA Chairman in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) giving the perspective of FCT health workers, said: “For those of us in the health sector, we have lost quite a number of colleagues in the last one week alone. Across the country, we have lost not less than 20 doctors in the last one week”

Dr. Amodu also called for more facilities to deal with virus.

“We need things to work with, we need ICUs, we need drugs, we need face masks, we need PPEs, we need hand sanitizers. This second wave is so overwhelming, more catastrophic, and this probably will be because a lot of people have gone back to the ways of doing things, have thought the virus is over, it has come and it has gone and let their guards down.”

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