ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Henry Ayuk, the commissioner for health in Cross River, has attributed the health and social services sectors’ current condition to a decade of civil service understaffing.
Reacting to the recent death of a woman during childbirth at the General Hospital, Obanliku, Ayuk said on Tuesday that this was now manifest in the quality of personnel and services delivered.
On Tuesday ( 17 October) night, a woman in labour died in the Sankwala, Obanliku LGA of Cross River.
The death sparked an uproar in the community, following which Governor Bassey Otu ordered the immediate deployment of health personnel to the facility.
In a statement, Mr Otu also condoled with the paramount ruler of Obanliku, Amos Item, and the deceased’s family.
The commissioner said if the family accepted, an autopsy had been ordered to ascertain the cause of death. He also said the government was immediately reestablishing full services in the general hospital.
“We are ensuring that relevant personnel are sent there. In fact, we have redeployed two doctors to the facility that should be resuming in the next 24 to 48 hours,” stated Mr Ayuk. “Also, due to the dearth of workers in the state, as many of them, especially in the health sector, will be retiring in 2023, the Governor has decided to extend the services of the nurses who will be retiring for three more years.”
He added, “Similarly, the state government is also looking at recalling some of the retired doctors who are still strong enough to work in the state’s health sector on a contract basis.”
Ayuk said the state government would meet with the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress and civil society organisations to package some incentives for medical practitioners to be sent to rural communities, subject to the governor’s approval.