They have not been paid their salaries for the past four months and their jobs are not even permanent. To add to that, Lady Health Workers (LHWs) have had to bear abuses, physical assaults and abductions in the recent polio campaign.
Protesting against the indifference from the government and lack of cooperation by people, LHWs from across the country gathered in front of National Press Club on Friday.
Expressing grave concern over the abduction of polio teams in Balochistan and they demanded the government to provide them security in the troubled land. They also asked for stern action against the people who assaulted their colleagues during inoculation drives.
The protesters chanted slogans against the Dr Akhtar Rasheed Malik, Provincial Coordinator of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) Programme, who according to them is opposing their regularistion and terminating LHWs without any solid reason.
We demand immediate action against him and seek his removal from the office, said a protester. While narrating the ordeal of the workers, LHWs Association Chairperson Bushra Arain said recently in Rahim Yar Khan some influential person had set dogs on one of the LHW who went in his area to administrate polio drops.
“She is in hospital and needs financial assistance for her treatment but the government is not supporting her. Besides this another LHW during recent polio campaign in Islamabad was slapped by a house owner on ringing his door bell,” she said.
“I appeal everyone to please be kind and cooperate with all the LHWs. They have not been getting salaries for the past four months,” she said.
Arain further said the association highly appreciates the recent intervention by the Supreme Court over the issue regarding LHWs’ job contracts.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2012.
More in PakistanEncounter: ‘Dacoit’ killed in shoot out