By Ajuma Edwina Ogiri Abuja —
Pregnant women have urged the federal government to intervene in the ongoing health workers strike, saying they are the worst hit by the industrial action.
Health Workers under the umbrella of Joint Health Sector Unions(JOHESU) had commenced strike on September 21, 2017, citing lack of commitment on the side of the Federal Government to improving health infrastructure and welfare of workers.
Th e strike which came barely 10 days after the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors(NARD), crippled healthcare activities in most government hospitals nationwide.
A visit by Blueprint to the National Hospital, Abuja, revealed that the hospital has become a shadow of its self as the Labour and maternity Ward, General Out-patient Department (GOPD), among others were completely empty.
Pregnant women were not admitted because there are no Nurses or Midwives to receive delivery or keep checks on them.
A pregnant woman, Mrs. Th eresa Mameh, who was found waiting at an empty section of the hospital said “I have not been attended to since morning.
“Nurses would have attended to us if they were around; like scanning, taking our blood pressure, or take personal health complaints.
Th ere are no fi les to check, the Nurses usually bring out the fi les to attend to us.
We submitted our cards but there’s no body to check us, we laid complain, they said there are no Nurses to help us and they can’t do it.
” “Th e Nurses and Midwives are in charge of virtually everything about us.
“We are pleading with Government to heed and meet the demands of these people so that we can be attended to, we don’t have money to go to private hospitals.
I am already worried about what will happen to me if they don’t call off the strike before my Expected Day of Delivery.
” Another expectant mother who also spoke with Blueprint, Mrs.
Faith Uzo, said “I came to the hospital because I was not feeling too well, but will have to go to another hospital; perhaps a private hospital, as nobody has attended to me since I came.
“Th e government should please respond to these health workers, especially the nurses and midwives, because when they go on strike it is the pregnant women that suff er most.
” Meanwhile, one of the hospital workers who pleaded anonymous, hinted that a pregnant woman who was on admission at the emergency ward died during the strike.
Th e hospital worker said: “Th e woman died on Sunday, I don’t know what caused the death but she died with the baby inside her.
” Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the National Hospital, Dr. Tayo Haastrup, had earlier appealed to the striking workers to consider the poor masses who will suff er most due to their absence, and hoped the issue between the health workers and federal government the is resolved soonest.