Members of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Benue State Council, has appealed to the government to consider the payment of nine months backlog arrears of 2017 salaries to alleviate the suffering of the health workers in the rural areas.

The State Chairman of the union, Mr. Nyam Dennis, made this call on Tuesday during the commissioning of a permanent office complex of the State Primary Health Care Board (SPHCB), Makurdi.

The union while commending Governor Samuel Ortom for the edifice said the establishment of the Benue State Primary Health care Board has brought the entire primary Health care staff under one roof, a development which he noted will enable them deliver quality health care to the rural populace.

Nyam further lamented inadequate funding of Primary Health Care Board and called on the Governor to prioritize the funding of the board to enable it achieve its core mandate of ensuring a universal health coverage amongst the rural populace.

He also named acute shortage of health personnel occasioned by the mass exodus of health workers,  retirement from service, among others, and called on state government to urgently recruit more health workers’ at the Primary Health care level to fill the vacuum created.

They also appealed to the Governor on the  implementation of the skip of CONHESS 10, which was issued since November 16, 2016, at the Primary Health care level give the Staff a sense of belonging like their counterparts at the Hospital management Board and ministry of Health that had been enjoying the fruit of this circular since January 1, 2017.

Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Ortom, has stated that guaranteeing good health for people of the State remains one of the top priorities of his administration.

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Governor Ortom who commissioned the new office of SPHCB in Makurdi said his resolve to make it one of the five pillars of his administration informed the establishment of SPHCB in 2015 when he came into office.

According to the Governor, since establishment, he had continued to monitor and support SPHCB to ensure that health service delivery to the grassroots is enhanced.

Governor Ortom said disbursement of funds to eligible primary health care facilities in the state and enrollment of most vulnerable for easy access to service delivery would soon commence across the State.

The Governor who promised to look into demands by the SPHCB, urged the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as well as relevant agencies to ensure close synergy with SPHCB for optimal performance.

Speaking, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Joseph Ngbea, said the SPHCB was established to provide effective and affordable health care services to people of the State.

Chairman SPHCB, Mrs Comfort Agogo and the Executive Secretary of the Board, Dr. Bem Ageda all expressed happiness over the edifice and appealed for provision of Cold Vans, working cold room, utility vehicles and conference Hall for the board as well as recruitment of more health workers among others.