By THISDAY Newspaper
The Katsina State Chapter of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has revealed that 83 health workers have been abducted by terrorists between 2015 to 2023 across the state.
The State Chairman of the Union, Mr. Mannir Mohammed Suleiman, disclosed this Wednesday night at a dinner in honour of Dr. Shamsudeen Yahaya for his reappointment as the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Healthcare Agency.
He explained that out of the 83 abductees, 65 have been released after payment of ransom, while 16 were killed by the terrorists in different communities across the state.
The MHWUN chairman added that one of the victims escaped from captivity with a gunshot wound, while another health worker was nowhere to be found for the last four years.
He said: “We appreciate the government of the state in providing staff register in all our ministries, agencies and departments. But we equally request the government to review the register particularly in the frontline LGAs that have the high challenge of insecurity.
“As I am speaking to you now, almost 83 health workers across the state have been kidnapped. Out of the number, 65 were released after payment of ransom while 16 were killed.
“Out of the number, one person escaped with a bullet wound and one other person is nowhere to be found for the last four years. We appealed to the government to address the security challenges in the state.”
He however, lamented over manpower shortage in the health sector in the state, adding that 50 to 60 per cent of health workers in both hospital service management board and state primary healthcare agency were casual and volunteers.
He also advocated for the implementation of a circular for the promotion of primary healthcare and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WATSAN) directors from grade-level 15 to 16 in the state.
Suleiman equally appealed to the state government to look into the possibility of including social welfare staff in the prevention and curative of disease as part of their responsibilities in the state.