The Health Committee in Parliament is calling for better security for health workers in the country especially those posted to serve in deprived communities.
The Committee’s call comes on the back of the gruesome murder of Ms. Ruth Ama Eshun, a Community Health Nurse stationed at Sewua Health Centre in the Bosomtwi District of the Ashanti Region on Monday 3rd February 2020.
The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah in reading a statement on the Floor of the House on the matter described the incident as “unfortunate,” and charged the country’s security apparatus to do everything possible to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
“One of the main challenges the country faces in her quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage has been the difficulty in getting qualified health workers to accept postings to deprived areas where their services are badly needed. As such, for a person who decided to work in a deprived area to suffer this ordeal will obviously worsen this challenge,” he said.
Dr. Twum-Nuamah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Berekum East constituency said the country’s security agencies must roll out adequate security measures to ensure that health workers in deprived communities are protected from such harm.
He added that health workers across the country who are terrified about the news of the death of Mrs. Eshun, will only be reassured of their safety if the persons behind the crime are arrested quickly and made to face the full rigours of the law.
The MP, while expressing his commiserations to the victim’s family especially her husband and three kids as well as the nursing fraternity, urged the Speaker of Parliament to invite the Interior Minister, Ambrose Derry to update the House on security arrangements being made to protect health workers at their duty posts especially for those in deprived communities.
Ruth Eshun’s death
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.
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 but the Community Health Nurses Association of Ghana has given the government a one-week ultimatum to find the killers of Ruth Eshun.
Read the full statement below:
Mr. Speaker, Monday 3rd February 2020 has become a “Black Day” for the health sector of this country because that day witnessed the gruesome murder of Ms. Ruth AmaEshun, a Community Health Nurse stationed at Sewua Health Centre in the Bosomtwi District of the Ashanti Region.
Mr. Speaker, what makes it much more painful is the fact that this hardworking nurse met her untimely death while returning from work at her duty post.
Mr. Speaker, clearly, the hearts of her colleagues at Sewua Health Centre, her compatriots at Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, staff of Ghana Health Service, staff of the Ministry of Health and the entire nation are heartbroken following her murder.
Mr. Speaker, one of the main challenges the country faces in her quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage has been the difficulty in getting qualified health workers to accept postings to deprived areas where their services are badly needed. As such, for a person who decided to work in a deprived area to suffer this ordeal will obviously worsen this challenge.
Mr. Speaker, the only way the state can assuage the fears of the health workers and even prospective ones that their security is a concern to it, is for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be apprehended quickly and made to face the full force of the law. Furthermore, adequate security arrangements, especially for those who work in deprived areas, must be spelt out.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of your committee on Health, I wish to crave your indulgence to invite the Minister for Interior to brief this house on security arrangements being made to protect health workers at their duty posts especially for those in deprived communities like our late colleague. The Committee also calls on the Inspector General of Police to use all available means to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to book within the shortest possible time. These arrangements will go a long way to boost the morale of health workers in Ghana, which as of now has been affected immensely.
The committee also calls on the chiefs and people of the community where our late colleague worked to volunteer vital information to assist the Police in their investigations.
Mr. Speaker, just as the blood of Abel cried for justice from the Almighty God after he was murdered by his brother Cain, so is the blood of our departed colleague crying for justice from her country Ghana. The State should not fail her.
Mr. Speaker, your committee expresses our deepest condolences to the family of the late Ruth AmaEshun, especially her husband and three kids.
May her soul rest in perfect peace.
Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity.