* This article was originally published in The Leadership
The global trade union federation, Public Services International (PSI), along with two of its Nigerian affiliates, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), have condemned attacks on health and social care workers in north – east part of the country by the Boko Haram terrorists.
The union in a statement by PSI IDP Project national coordinator, Moradeke Abiodun-Badru, condemned recent upsurge in attacks on health facilities in the Magumeri local government area.
She said the federal government needs to do more to protect the lives of health workers who risk their lives for societal good.
“We urge security agencies to review their strategy with increased surveillance and prompt apprehension of suspects with full respect to international human rights norms and standards,” the statement read.
The PSI while commending the federal government for its ongoing efforts to restore normalcy to the north-eastern part of the country said the federal government and international leaders must not only condemn these atrocities but take prompt action to prevent them from happening in the future and to ensure the safety of frontline workers.
The statement reads further, “We are deeply concerned that these recent upsurges in mayhem have targeted harmless and defenceless social service providers. Recent statistics by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) revealed that over 37 aid workers have lost their lives to terrorism over the last decade in Nigeria.
“These devastating findings reveal continued violations of international humanitarian laws and United Nations resolutions designed to protect health workers in conflict zones.
“PSI unreservedly condemn all attacks on health and social care workers in conflict zones, whose sole aim is to provide care, treatment and comfort to the sick, injured and the dying. Terrorist attacks deprive populations of access to healthcare because facilities are closed, infrastructure is damaged, and healthcare providers have to withdraw their staff in the event of attacks.”
“These attacks also impede attempts to tackle outbreaks of diseases, vaccination programmes, and emergency situations (like flooding which is currently ravaging the state).”
An upsurge in violence