Coordinator of the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi has lamented the unfavorable working conditions of frontline health workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), highlighting the absence of pipe borne water and long proximity from health facilities as the two major challenges they are facing.
Dr. Magashi made the revelation on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at the maiden edition of the Dr. Aminu Magashi Heroic Annual Health Awardi n Abuja.
He told TheFact Daily that the working conditions of health workers in the FCT was nothing to write home about. In his words: “Sometimes when you go to facilities, water is the biggest problem. There’s usually no pipeborne water, they resort to truck pushers to buy water.
“There is also the problem of accomodation, most of the health facilities do not have accomodation that is close to the facility, so they have to come from very far and if there is any emergency, somebody can spend up to 1 hour before they get to the facility”, he said.
Lending his voice to the call for improvement in working conditions of the health workers, Dr. Magashi said: “I am calling on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister and the entire government to address this issue”.
On the reason for coming up with the Heroic Annual Health Award, Dr. Magashi said: “During the Covid-19 lock down period, I saw the amazing work being done by health workers in the facilities and these are the unsung heroes. They are doing excellently well but nobody knows what they are doing.
“When HEDCODEC mentioned they’ll give me an award, I said No, we have to honour the right people. The right people are the health workers who are on the front line doing great things. Rather than giving me award every year, which I don’t need, it is better we identify a mechanism that will be rewarding and encouraging health workers.
“We are starting with Gwagwalada and Bwari, next year, we hope that the entire 6 local council would also enter the process.
“We are hoping that through this small process, other philanthropists can key in, so that, in every state, another philanthropist can volunteer to launch another Unsung Heroes Award.
“Today is the United Nations Public Service Day, there is no better day to celebrate our unsung heroes than today”, he said.
Earlier on, Executive Director, Heroic Discovery and Community Development Center (HEDCODEC), Kabir Abdulsalam in his keynote address said HEDCODEC, as one of its core objectives, previously planned to present an award to Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba for his outstanding performance in the humanitarian sector.
“This was later remolded to become a sustainable mechanism for awarding outstanding front-line health workers in Nigeria, who had demonstrated and achieved great excellence in their field of endeavor within Bwari, Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja.
“As the maiden edition, Out of 52 Primary Health Care centers in Bwari Local council and 33 PHC in Gwagwalada Local Council, we randomly selected 3 each. We made advocacy and submitted awareness letters to the facility for participation”, Abdulsalam said.
Speaking on behalf of the Award recipients, a Mental Health Nurse at Gwagwalada Township Clinic, Onah Michael remarked: “You have helped us to be recognised and so we are very grateful, all of us are ready to serve humanity.
“We found ourselves in health department not by chance and when we have come to embrace it, that is why you can see us giving our best. May it go well with you, so that more people will continue to get these awards and encourage the grassroots to give their best”, he said.