Lab Scientists Protest Exclusion from Hazard Allowance Review


Posted on: Fri 16-04-2021

The National Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists on Thursday protested against exclusion from the negotiation of upward review of COVID -19 hazard allowances for frontline health workers in the fight against coronavirus.

The President of NAMLS, Prof James Damen, faulted Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, for excluding the union, accusing him of using divide and rule tactics.

Ngige had met with the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association, Joint Health Sector Unions and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.

But Damen argued that laboratory scientists who collect samples and had direct link to patients shouldn’t have been excluded in the talks to review hazard allowance for health workers in the country.

Speaking ahead of the World Biomedical Laboratory Science Day, 2021, Damen said the association would resist the terms of agreement reached with government since they were not party to the negotiation.

Damen said, “The Minister of Labour and Employment called a meeting to negotiate for hazard allowances and excluded us from the meeting. This is unfair, injustice and unacceptable to us.

“We will not accept anything that come out of that negotiation; we will resist it. Many of our members have died; some have been paralysed as a result of COVID – 19 pandemic.”

The Laboratory Scientists also accused the government of paying lip services to the development of infrastructure to support scientists, insisting that ordinarily baseline studies was supposed to precede the current COVID-19 vaccination taking place in the country to uncover any adverse effects on the populace.

According to Damen, some countries have reported that in some COVID-19 vaccine recipients, blood clot was observed, but Nigeria has not done a single research to authenticate the efficacy of the vaccines on the populace.