The Community Health Nurses Association of Ghana has given the government a one-week ultimatum to find the killers of one of its members, Ruth Eshun who was allegedly murdered by unknown assailants in the Ashanti Region.
According to the group, they will embark on an industrial action should government within the period fail to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
The lifeless body of the deceased was found at Ayuom near Sewua in the Bosomtwe District, a few meters to her home last week.
Ms. Eshun was last seen by her colleagues, on Monday, February 3rd, 2020, after leaving the Sewua Health Centre, where she worked as a registered community health nurse.
Various interest groups have so far been demanding justice for the nurse with the Police picking up one person in connection with the suspected murder.
At a news conference in Kumasi, Public Relations Officer for the Community Health Nurses Association of Ghana, Appiah Kubi maintained that only a strike will put pressure on the appropriate authorities to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
“We are telling the government that if justice does not prevail in our sister’s murder, we will put our tools down. That is the caution. We are also giving an ultimatum of one week. If we do not see anything, we will boycott all upcoming activities. We are the major people contributing to health service in Ghana but they don’t care about us. If we don’t get justice as a security guarantee for our people, then all CHPS compounds will be closed down. Our people are working without any security, therefore, justice, in this case, will give us the assurance that we will get security” he said.
Nurses raise security concerns
Nurses in the country have expressed concern following the death of Ms. Eshun.
They believe that her killing reflects among other things the dangers and security challenges they face in their line of duty.
There are already calls from some quarters for the nurses to withdraw their services in protest of Ms. Eshun’s killing as the leadership of the Registered Nurses and Midwives is calling for speedy investigation and trial of persons who had a hand in her death.
“So it’s time for us to ensure that the needed justice is ensured and the perpetrators are found and brought to book. That is all that we are crying for. They [the police] are the people being mandated by the state to ensure that our safety is being cared for. And as such, they are the people that can unravel the mystery behind this death of our colleague. From the interactions that we’ve had with them, we are very positive they will make headway. What we plead with our members is that they should remain calm but be resolute to ensure that we all fight for justice for our colleague,” the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer for Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Thomas Asafo Agyei said.
We’re taking steps to prioritize your security – GHS to health workers
Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service has given assurances that it is working to ensure the safety of health workers in the country following the suspected murder.
The Service in a statement on Monday said it is shocked by the incident and is currently liaising with the Ghana Police Service to ascertain the cause of her death and hold those responsible for the crime to book.
“The Ghana Health Service Management and Governing Council wish to express our deepest condolence to the husband, children and the entire bereaved family… The Service is relying on the expertise of the Ghana Police Service to unravel the cause of death and bring the perpetrators to face the full rigour of the law as we seek justice for the victim,” the Ghana Health Service said in a statement.
It added that it is liaising with the various regional coordinating councils to ensure that nurses and other health workers’ safety is guaranteed.
“The Ghana Health Service and the Council would like to assure our staff that the Service is taking steps including liaising with the various Regional Coordinating Council to prioritize the security and safety of all staff across the country.”