Nigerian nurses begin nationwide strike over arrears

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Is’haq Khalid BBC Africa, Abuja

Health workers in Nigeria including nurses, laboratory scientists and pharmacists have began a nationwide strike to demand improved working conditions and payment of outstanding salaries.

They also want a review of Covid-19 allowances.

The strike by one of Nigeria’s largest healthcare unions comes just days after doctors in the country suspended their strike last week over similar demands.

The umbrella body of health workers in Nigeria, known as Joint Health Sector Union, says the seven-day nationwide “warning strike” became necessary after they exhausted other means of dispute resolution with the authorities.

They want an improvement to “poor funding and infrastructural decay” in Nigeria’s health sector.

The union said its members will go on an indefinite strike if the government fails to respond to its demands within seven days – which could further cripple health services across the country.