The Director General, Cross River Primary Health Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu has ordered the suspension of four health workers at the Primary Health Care located at Mayne Avenue in Calabar South local government area of Cross River.
The suspended staff were alleged to have manhandled a pregnant woman in the centre. “It was on Friday evening when a woman in labour was brought to PHC Mayne Avenue. Rather than health workers present to help her into the labour room, they demanded for N20,000 for surgery while surgeries are not done there,” a source alleged.
“The health workers pushed the woman with that excruciating pain out of the facility. To make matters worse, a trained nurse who goes by the name Eme Bassey used mopping stick to beat the woman, claiming that she bit her hand with her teeth. The woman was thrown out of the facility,” a source further alleged.
The woman, who was in excruciating pain, went to the grass in front of the facility where she struggled on her own to deliver her baby and was aided by a member of the community and other passersby. When the woman finally put to birth, the youths in the community went into the health facility to move the nurse out to ensure she assisted the woman.
It was then she reluctantly came out to help the woman deliver her placenta and finally let her into the facility. The DG, who was immediately informed, came in and said she had repeatedly warned some health workers to treat patients with right attitude but they have refused to change.
“I spend my time going from community to community to plead with women to leave Traditional Birth Attendants, Prayer houses and homes to deliver in Health facility, then a woman shows up in a health facility and she is beaten and pushed out, what worse treatment could a human give to another human?
“This kind of wickedness is unheard of; these health workers will be used to set example for others who have refused to do the work which they are paid to do. Health workers carelessness have lead to death of many women. The Governor of Cross River State has been faithful in paying workers and on time too. He is adding another 1000 health workers to improve things in health sector.
“This is in addition to the rural allowance paid as incentives and facility upgrade to improve services. What more could a committed Governor do to make things work?
“Since they have refused to change we will show them the way out and bring in people who are ready to work,” the DG said and ordered the immediate suspension all the staff involved and the PHC coordinator who supervises them.
“All staff involved are to face disciplinary committee and might face tough sanctions including dismissal if the board so decides.”
Meanwhile, the woman has now been admitted as the DG has provided clothes for her and her baby as well as other provisions she requires to care for the baby.