As polio campaign nears, LHWs still await payments

Published: July 10, 2018
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Lady health workers (LHWs) across the province have still not received the money owed to them by the Punjab health department.

On the first day of the anti-polio campaign in Lahore, lady health workers complained that their outstanding dues had not been cleared. In fact, some added that they had not even received payment on Eidul Fitr despite Supreme Court orders.

Reportedly, around 47 lady health workers, 2,000 lady health supervisors and 2,000 drivers are awaiting payment.

Earlier, the workers staged several protests on Mall Road against the non-payment of their dues. Last month, the Supreme Court directed the health department to clear all outstanding dues by Eidul Fitr. However, this has not yet happened.

The nonpayment of outstanding dues has thrown a spanner in the works of achieving the official target of inoculating an estimated 18 million children in Lahore. Most of the workers are disheartened and not committed to the campaign.

Dialogue with lady health workers inconclusive on third day of protest

“We go door-to-door in this heat, without receiving any payment,: said a lady health worker while requesting anonymity.

“Many workers across the province, who are protesting against this injustice, refused to participate in the anti-polio campaign in Lahore. But we continue to perform our duties with the hopes that the health department will soon compensate us,” she articulated.

However, until that happens, the air of disappointment and disheartenment will prevail, causing the anti-polio campaign in Lahore to suffer, she concluded.

When contacted by The Express Tribune, an official from the health department said the department was trying their best pay the outstanding dues of the lady health workers.

“We have distributed forms detailing the exact amount of money the women are owed. Hopefully, they will be given the money soon, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2018.

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