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NSITF decries non-implementation of occupational accident pact

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
19 March 2021   |   4:04 am
A pact between the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) would have reduced accidents in hospitals if implemented.

A pact between the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) would have reduced accidents in hospitals if implemented. 
The Acting Managing Director of the Fund, Dr. Kelly Nwagha, who disclosed this when he received a delegation of the Association Of Hospital And Administrative Pharmacists Of Nigeria (AHAPN) in Abuja, called for collaboration between the NSITF and hospital pharmacists in the implementation of Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS). 
Nwagha lamented the non-implementation of the communiqué reached between the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria and the NSITF, which would have helped more pharmacists in their workplaces and ensured greater productivity.

He said: “The Pharmacist Council Of Nigeria, in which Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has substantial representation, is expected from that communiqué to enrol pharmacy practitioners en masse into the ECS, which compensates employees for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths”.
He highlighted that such practitioners include community pharmacists, patent and proprietary medicine dealers and employees of pharmaceutical firms.
Dr. Nwagha, who is also a pharmacist, added: “It is really unfortunate that up till this moment that communiqué is yet to be activated,”
He urged members of the delegation to use their positions to reactivate the communiqué for the benefit of employers and the employees in the pharmaceutical sector.
While noting that preventative, rehabilitative and compensatory services were an integral part of the Fund’s mandate, Dr. Nwagha disclosed that the NSITF had paid over N4billion in compensation to subscribers of the ECS since the Fund was given legal backing in 2010, out of which about N1billion was paid in 2020 alone.

Providing insights into the NSITF mandate, he explained: “Employment injury scheme is centred basically on one key area; prevention of accidents/injuries in the workplace, which I term preventative service that we provide. 
“Good healthy living and stress management which directly improves productivity is a component of what we do under health, safety and environment, which I am heading.
“When we carry out preventative measures and there is a failure, we do what we call rehabilitative service, like treating the injured employee to get back to normal working condition. NSITF provides this service. 

“The issue of rehabilitative services which includes the provision of artificial members; prosthesis for those who lost their arms, legs, have hearing challenges. We call it ‘return to work’, it is a health and safety responsibility.” 
President of the Abuja chapter of the association, Dr. Abubakar Danraka, congratulated Dr. Nwagha on his appointment as the Acting Managing Director/CE of NSITF, describing him as one of the icons of the AHAPN, even as he sought collaboration with the Fund in conducting periodic training and workshops for pharmaceutical staff.

He explained that his team is a technical group of over 453 members in Abuja, working in about 13 organisations, under the umbrella body of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.