JOHESU Strike: Health Minister Replies HIV/AIDS Civil Society Groups, Demands Withdrawal of The Open Letter - News Proof

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

JOHESU Strike: Health Minister Replies HIV/AIDS Civil Society Groups, Demands Withdrawal of The Open Letter


Johesu Strike
The Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has asked the 13 Civil Society groups for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS to withdraw an open letter it wrote demanding a speedy resolution of the issues that led to the strike action by the  Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU).

In the letter addressed to the Hon. Minister of Health, and Minister of Labour and Productivity,  Chief Chris Ngige; the group drew the attention of the Government to the negative impact the on ongoing strike. It, however, urges the duo of the ministers to ensure accelerated resolutions of the crisis to avoid loss of lives as the facilities shut down by JOHESU is already taking a negative toll against HIV/AIDS victims.

In response to the letter, the Minister of health through the National Coordinator, HIV/AIDS Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Sunday A. Aboje said the Ministry is doing all things possible to ensure the shutdown facilities are opened and accessible to those who need them.

Aboje, however, said the letter by the HIV/AIDS-related Civil Society groups aimed at blackmailing the ministers and urged the group to withdraw it.

Below is the rejoinder from the Health Ministry.

Re: Open letter to the Hon. Minister of Health and Minister of Labour & Productivity

Your open letter to the Honourable Ministers’ of Health and Labour on the negative impact the ongoing strike by the Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) is having on People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) who are accessing care and treatment across government facilities nationwide refers.

2. The government acknowledges your concern regarding the negative impact this strike action is having on the health services in the country generally, treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS inclusive, and assures your organizations that it is doing everything possible to facilitate early resolution of this industrial dispute

3. While we await early resolution of this industrial dispute, please be informed that government is doing her possible best to keep the health facilities open so that people living with HIV and other patients can access healthcare. Information available to us shows that health workers lawfully discharging their duties were assaulted, manhandled and chase away from their duty-posts by officials of this striking union.

4. It is important to remind you that as responsible organizations, you are expected to be part of the facilitation of early resolution of this industrial dispute and not to take sides or blame parties or individuals. The content of your letter was intended to blackmail the HMH and should be withdrawn.

5. You are also aware of the role played by the trustees of Kingdom Human Right Foundation International, who got an injunction from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. We should all follow up and make JOHESU obey the ruling and suspend the strike by resuming at their duty posts and provide healthcare to Nigerians.      

6. Please accept the warm regards of the Honourable Minister of Health.

Thank you

Dr. Sunday A. Aboje
National Coordinator, HIV/AIDS Division, FMOH
For: Honourable Minister of Health.

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