No JOHESU Member Will be Victimized – Minister of Health
The Supervising Minister of Health, Dr.Khaliru Alhassan, has assured that no member of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), who embarked on the strike action which started in November 2014, will be victimised. The Minister gave this assurance today at a press briefing, in the Federal Ministry of Health Abuja, to announce the end of the industrial strike called on by the Joint Health Sector Union.
The Minister commended JOHESU members for calling off the strike action and urged them to henceforth, work amicably as a team with other health workers. While stressing the importance of dialogue as a tool for resolving differences, the Minister thanked all those who had helped to bring an end to the strike action.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ayuba Wabba, the National Chairperson of JOHESU disclosed that the decision to call off the strike action is coming on the heels of the intervention of the President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who met JOHESU members on Sunday.
In another development, the Supervising Minister, Dr.Khaliru Alhassan, briefed the press on the outbreak of Avian Influenza in Nigeria.
The Minister assured Nigerians that Government has taken proactive measures to curtail the spread of the disease and urged the public not to panic but ensure that they adhere to personal health habits that can prevent the spread of the disease.
While highlighting some of the steps the Ministry has taken since the outbreak of the Avian Influenza in the nation, he disclosed that all States Ministries of Health have been alerted about the outbreak and have been advised to reactivate their Avian Influenza Control Mechanisms.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Health has intensified its collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to tackle the issue headlong adding that the same collaboration is being replicated at the state level.
Dr. Alhassan explained that disease surveillance systems have been placed on high alert to arrest the situation adding that field teams have been deployed by State Ministries of Health to examine exposed persons in affected farms and live bird markets. He said that they collect laboratory samples, where necessary, for further clinical investigation.
The Minister said that the Avian Influenza Laboratories of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), have been receiving samples from field teams deployed to affected poultry sites and have been analyzing them. He stated that about 20 samples have been collected and none has tested positive for the disease.
While calling on the public to remain calm and avoid panic, he assured that poultry meat and other poultry products are safe to eat provided that they are well cooked.
He also advised members of the public to report cases of symptoms of respiratory illness to the nearest health facility, especially where there is a history of contact with sick poultry.
The Minister also advised the public to avoid eating sick or dead birds as well as avoid unnecessary exposure to poultry facilities. He urged the public to also maintain adequate personal hygiene and ensure regular hand washing to prevent infectious diseases.
A.O Adesugba (Mrs.)