The Plateau Inter-Professional Health Committee on COVID-19 has appealed to the state government for immediate improvement of welfare and incentives to frontline health workers fighting the global pandemic.
Dr Simji Gomerep, the Chairman of the committee, made the appeal on Wednesday in Jos when he led his members on a visit to Plateau House Assembly. Gomerep said that the health workers were staking their lives for others to live.
“The welfare of healthcare workers must be taken seriously. “There should be an insurance for those in the frontline fighting COVID-19,” he said.
The chairman expressed concern that provision of only N1000 monthly allowance was made for the health personnel fighting coronavirus.
He said that although the sacrifice was more than any amount of money, they needed to take care of some of their needs while doing the work.
Gomerep told the lawmakers that there was urgent need for infectious diseases prevention and management law to help in the fight against the pandemic and other infectious diseases.
He said that the committee conducted a research to assess the level of awareness by residents of Plateau regarding the pandemic.
According him, the awareness level was quite high and the people appreciate the need for the lockdown as a way to curb the spread of the virus.
He, however, said that they found out that there was the need for change of attitude, particularly as related to social distancing and personal hygiene.
Responding, the Speaker, Abok Ayuba, commended the health personnel working assiduously to protect the lives of Plateau residents against the pandemic.
Ayuba expressed worry over the number of lives lost globally as a result of the pandemic and assured the committee of the Assembly’s support.
“Whatever you need us to do, please feel free to contact the Chairman, House Committee on Health.
“We will discuss the concerns you have raised with the executive to see areas that can be improved upon,” he said.
The Chairman, Plateau House of Assembly Committee on Health, Mr Daniel Listick, said that it was time to act fast as the pandemic was spreading across the country.
Listick said that unless community testing were done, nobody could conclude that there was no case of Coronavirus in the state.
The committee chairman stressed the need for more testing centres and suggested that the state should have at least 10.
He also called for the recruitment of more health personnel if the fight against COVID-19 must be won.