By Asma’u Ahmad
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has called on stakeholders to provide a holistic approach to solving the security challenges of health workers in the country.
Adewole, who was represented by Dr Mike Maha, Head of Regulation in the ministry, made the call in Abuja on Wednesday at the 1st National Conference on Security of Hospital, Medical and Health Workers.
Newsmen report that the conference has its theme as “Towards Enhanced Security for Hospitals, Medical and Health Workers”.
The conference was coordinated by the Ethics Resource Centre, Nigeria, an NGO.
The minister said the conference was apt as it would help address the problem of security of lives and property of healthcare workers in the country.
According to him, the threat to lives and property of health workers must be dealt with on all fronts in a holistic, well co-ordinated and multifaceted manner.
“All hands must be on deck to bring an end to this threat to the lives and property of health workers.
“This conference will no doubt impact on the productivity or output of the workers.
“Hospital workers cannot and should not be allowed to live in constant fear, looking over their shoulders as to the safety of their lives and property,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman, Ethics Resource Centre, Nigeria, Mr Ike Onyechere, said security matters must not be left for the government alone, adding that it requires collective efforts of stakeholders to address the issues.
Onyechere said that collective actions of the health regulatory agencies must be on the top gear to proffer solutions to security challenges facing healthcare workers in the country.
He added that a manual would be published at the end of the three days conference which would give insight to the issues of insecurity and how to address it.
Onyechere said the manual would be propagated to every nook and cranny of the country to help curb the menace of insecurity of health personnel.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Osarenoma Uwaifo, said there was need for a coordinated action to build capacity of medical personnel as well as enunciate security awareness in them in order to stamp out the rising security challenge.
Also, Prof. Mike Ogirima, the President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), lauded the efforts of the facilitators and identified interagency collaboration as key in addressing security challenge in the health sector.
He, however, called for a joint organising committee of the conference to form an interagency security forum to implement the project.