Yakasai Proffers Solution to Incessant Health Workers’ Strike


– Advocates vector control to eradicate malaria

To permanently solve the problem of incessant strike actions by health workers, the Nigerian government must ensure fairness, equity and justice in its dealings with all professionals in the health sector, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), has said.

Speaking with newsmen recently at a media briefing organised by PSN to celebrate the 2018 World Malaria Day (WMD) in Lagos, Pharm. Yakasai argued that at the root of the avoidable strikes is the desire for benefit packages and privileges for all concerned, noting that the clamours from all side of the divide have been grossly mismanaged by government at all levels over the years.

As PSN marks 2018 World Malaria Day
Some pharmacists at the briefing in a group photograph

The PSN boss explained that what pharmacists and other health workers currently on strike want is equity and not equality, adding that pharmacists in Nigeria have lost confidence in the leadership of the Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, because of the way he has been managing issues affecting other health professionals.  According to him, the health minister has been acting as if he was minister of medical doctors alone, rather than working to protect the interest of all professionals in the health sector.

Pharm. Yakasai explained that pharmacists and other health workers have been agitating for adjustment in the spirit of parity on both scales which was entrenched in the spirit of the 2009 MoU signed with the Federal Ministry of Health, adding that this agitation led to the strike of health workers in 2014 and 2017.

He disclosed that even though the federal government in 2011 signed an agreement with JOHESU/AHPA on five terms and agreed that a circular be issued to actualise those terms within five weeks, nothing has been done even seven years later.

He therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure justice and equity is done to all concerned by directing that the circular be released without further delay in the interest of consumers of health in the country.

In another development, while speaking on the 2018 World Malaria Day, the PSN helmsman said that to tackle the malaria pandemic, all stakeholders must begin to look at vector control, adding that this is the only way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission.

He expressed sadness that malaria still kills thousands of Nigerians and tasked all citizens to work together in implementing strategies to eliminate malaria in Nigeria.

The high point of the media briefing was the announcement by the PSN helmsman of the World Malaria Day Essay Competition tagged RAVIMAL Essay Competition.

He noted that the competition, sponsored by Miral Pharmaceuticals, seeks to engage young pharmacists and pharmacy students on the topic “Ending Malaria Deaths in Africa: The Challenges, the Opportunities.”

He disclosed that the best three articles will be adjudged winners with prize awarded at the Annual National Conference of the PSN with a star prize of 1 million naira, while the deans of the faculties that produce the highest number of participants and the first prize winner will get 500,000 naira each.