The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Tuesday lamented the dearth of health workers in Benue State.
The State Chairman of MHWUN, Nyam Yisa Dennis, spoke during the official commissioning of the permanent site of the Benue State Primary Health Care Board headquarters in Makurdi.
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Dennis said that apart from inadequate funding of primary health care board, the issue of shortage of manpower remained worrisome.
He said: “There is acute shortage of health personnel with the mass exodus of health workers’ retiring from service on daily basis. Some of the primary health care clinics are being manned by just a professional health worker and in some cases, casual staff. We therefore call on the Benue State government to urgently recruit more health workers at the primary health care level to fill the vacuum created as a result of retirements from service.”
On his part, the representative of the Executive Secretary of NPHCDA, Ishola Abdulrazaq, who is also State Coordinator of the agency, urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit at least 4000 health workers to bridge the gap.
Abdulrazaq added that the state, which is already doing well in the implementation of primary healthcare, needed more funding to enable the board achieve its core mandate of ensuring a universal health coverage amongst the rural populace.
He said the 1600 primary health facilities in the state are mostly manned by hired health workers whenever there is need to carry out functions such as immunisation, stressing the need to recruit for more hands.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom, who commissioned the new edifice, promised to attend to the urgent need of the board in order of priority.