PESHAWAR – Lady health workers and lady health supervisors held a protest demonstration across the province to press the government for acceptance of their demands.
The LHWs held protest demonstration in front of the main gate of District Headquarters Complex Tajazai, Lakki Marwat, on Monday. The female protesters carried banners and placards inscribed with lines in favour of their demands. Accompanied by their children, they also shouted slogans in favour of their demands. They said the LHWs and LHSs had not been paid salaries since November last and it had become difficult for them to make both ends meet in the prevailing wave of price hike. “On the one hand, we are being subjected to perform activities under Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), anti-polio drives and Mother and Newborn Child (MNCH) Programme while, on the other hand the government is paying meager salaries to us,” they said.
They demanded removal of provincial coordinator of National Programme of Primary Healthcare Dr Ihsanullah Turabi and reinstatement of Office Superintendent Naeem Khan on his post. The protesters said that the lady health workers lacked POL budget and were getting salaries equal to the lady health workers.
They also demanded of the government to regularise the services of lady health workers and lady health supervisors.
Later, DCO Nisar Ahmad and DPO Gulzar Ali Khan held talks with the female protesters and assured them that their demands would be forwarded to the higher quarters concerned for early action.
Meanwhile, both male and female employees of the National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care staged a protest demonstration to seek regularisation of their services.
The LHWs, their supervisors and other related staffers of the programme gathered near the Bacha Medical Complex Shah Mansoor and marched towards the front of the judicial complex where they blocked the Swabi-Jahangira road for nearly an hour. They were holding placards inscribed with anti-government slogans.
They were chanting slogans against the officials concerned. They said they did not receive their salary for the last five months, alleging that the provincial coordinator, Ahsan Turabi was the main hurdle in the payment of their wages. They unanimously demanded that Ahsan should be removed immediately by the government and the superintendent, Naeem Khan who was fired on his directive should be reinstated. Shakeela Begum and Sumera said that each LHW, LHS and driver have been getting Rs 7000 per month and there was no difference between the upper and lower employees. They said that the basic pay scale should be awarded to them like the other public sector employees.
They warned that if the government failed to meet their demands till March 26, then they would boycott the polio vaccination campaign of Expended Programme of Immunisation (EPI).
Meanwhile, hundreds of Lady Health Visitors (LHVs), LHWs and LHSs and other staffers staged a protest rally in favour of their demands in Mardan as well.
The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with the slogans in favour of their demands and against Dr Ihsanullah Turabi.
Addressing the protesters, speakers said that Dr Ihsanullah Turabi is provincial Coordinator of LHWs. They added that the mentioned officer is a corrupt officer and is involved in different type of corruption. They said that the mentioned officer illegally terminated Qazi Mohammad Naeem (Superintendent) who is an honest officer in the office. They added that mentioned officer received million rupees bribe in appointments. They demanded of the government to immediately terminate Dr Ihsanullah Tarabi and restore Qazi Naeem on his service. They threatened if government did not fulfilled our demands they will continued their protest and provincial government and Health Minister will be responsible for that. Later, protesters dispersed peacefully.
Talking to TheNation Alina Iftikhar and Shah Roh said that former prime minister late Benazir Bhutto had started this programme. They said that in the beginning LHVs have been given 1200 salaries and LHS has been given 3000 rupees salaries. They said that later on Supreme Court has decided that 7,000 salaries should be given to LHVs and LHSs and other staff and all benefits should be given to them like other employees of the country in budget.