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Be Focus, R/S Dep. Gov Tells Primary Health Workers Mgt Board

DEPUTY IPALIBO HARRYThe Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board as presently constituted has been charged to be serious in the discharge of its duties, as stakeholders in the primary healthcare sector in Rivers State have agreed to suspend the one-year-old strike embarked upon by health workers in the state.

This followed the intervention of the state deputy governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, who brokered peace at an enlarged meeting with union leaders in the sector at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday.

Present at the meeting were representatives of the state Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Primary Healthcare Sector, Primary Healthcare Workers Association of Nigeria, Rivers State chapter, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Rivers State council and officials of the state Ministry of Health.

In a five-point communiqué issued at the end of the peace parley, the various union leaders thanked the state governor, Nyesom Wike, for convening the meeting to resolve the issues that led to the strike.

They regretted the hardships, pains and inconvenience suffered by the people of the state during the period of the strike and resolved to voluntarily suspend the strike with effect from Tuesday.

As contained in the communiqué, the Rivers State government would look into the issues raised by the unions with a view to addressing them in the interest of the people of the state.

All the stakeholders also agreed that all parties would henceforth, work together towards ensuring an effective and efficient primary healthcare service delivery.

Earlier, the deputy governor had lauded the Primary Healthcare Workers Union for accepting to call off the strike and urged them to drop their differences and see the interest of Rivers people as paramount.

She expressed disappointment over the lack of synergy among the Primary Healthcare Management Board, the health workers and the local government councils in the state.

The division among the stakeholders in the health sector in the state, she said, was responsible for the prolonged strike that paralysed health care services at the rural areas.

“Rivers State government appreciate the work you do, but you must work together. I don’t expect the division among you because you are doing the same work that touches the lives of our people”, she said.

The deputy governor said the Primary Healthcare Management Board was performing an important function in the healthcare delivery services but observed that the board, as currently constituted, needed to be refocused to discharge its duties.

She noted the strategic role of primary healthcare workers, who reached out to the children at the rural communities, adding that the position of the state in the national healthcare indices had dropped drastically as a result of the strike.

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