By Cullen Browder, WRAL presenter/reporterFor nearly two years, WRAL Investigates has been covering the mental…
On the occasion of the United Nations Public Service Day, a non-governmental organization, the Heroic Discovery and Community Development Center (HEDCODEC), in collaboration with the African Health Budget Network (AHBN), honored 10 Outstanding Frontline Health Workers in Gwagwalada and Bwari Regional Councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with the Heroic Annual Health Awards.
The award ceremony, hosted by DR. The Aminu Magashi Foundation aimed to celebrate and encourage the best health pioneers who have demonstrated and achieved great excellence in their field.
Speaking at the event, the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) Coordinator, Dr Aminu Magashi said that at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline health workers faced to the unknown of a new disease.
He said: “When it started there was no personal protective equipment (PPE), many were using whatever came their way to protect themselves, gradually support started coming in from government and partners in development.
“COVID-19 has changed our thinking to understand that health workers working at facility level are very important.
Magashi said the country faces local and global public health challenges, underscoring the need to stand in solidarity with healthcare workers as the world is still reeling from the pandemic.
He said: “They put their lives on the line to fight the virus, and all countries and organizations must work together to recognize healthcare workers.”
Magashi said he decided that the award for him should go to the right people, namely health workers.
“Rather than you giving me a prize every week that I don’t need, it’s better that we identify a mechanism that will reward and honor health workers. This is the purpose of this gathering. We are starting with gwagwalada with Bwari, we hope that by next year all six local government councils will also enter this process and there will be an online application form for anyone to apply for, to ensuring that every health worker has an equal chance of being selected,” he said.
HEDCODEC Executive Director Kabir Abddulsalam said the award was instituted to celebrate and encourage the most outstanding health pioneers who have demonstrated and achieved great excellence in their field.
He said the HEDCODEC had planned to give an award to Dr Aminu Magashi for his outstanding performance in the humanitarian sector, but it was later reshaped by the two organizations to become a sustainable mechanism to reward outstanding frontline health workers. in the country, who have demonstrated and achieved great excellence in their field of endeavor within Bwari, Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja.
He said that in the median edition, out of 52 and 33 primary health care centers (PHCs) in Bwari and Gwagwalada Regional Councils, respectively, they randomly selected three frontline health workers each.
“We did advocacy and submitted awareness letters to the institution for participation. We received a total of 64 entries for 5 categories of 6 facilities in Gwagawala and Bwari Area Council FCT.
“38 healthcare providers were shortlisted, after field data collection by the HEDCODEC award committee, the team was able to review it to 25 finalists before submitting the report to the panelists after being put scaled to the final stage based on merit after rigorous review by the Editorial Board,” he explained.