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Medical Checkup And Compulsory Annual Leave Among LASTMA Staff

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Medical Checkup And Compulsory Annual Leave Among LASTMA Staff

By AWOSANYA, Abiodun

 

So far, 2017 has been a year of dramatic changes within the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, in progression and retrogression. The public has been experiencing the civil approach of traffic law enforcement amongst other achievements of the General Manager, LASTMA and the Governor, Lagos State.

However, in any social system, it is believed that perfect condition does not exist. There must be an exceptional case to every expectation of any social phenomenon.

For instance, the existence of dialectic in theories is an indication that nothing is perfect in a social world. While some theories explain why people engage in actions, some counter it. Thus, as LASTMA counts its blessings on improvement of traffic control and other related issues while the year is going to an end, the areas of deteriorating health status of its personnel calls for rapid action for improvement.

It is important to mention that Nigeria, as a country has been fair to an extent, on the provision of free healthcare services to Public/Civil servants, as stipulated in the National Health Policy of 1988 (Reviewed 2016) and National Policy on Population of 1988 (Reviewed 2004). Therefore, it should not be overemphasized that Lagos State Government has been so considerate to make this policies stand, and on achieving the primary purpose. The problem therefore is that, despite the provision of free health care services to the Public/Civil servants by Lagos State Government through the secondary healthcare institution, government officers still suffer countless of ailments as a result of challenges and hazards encountered in their place of primary assignment.

Two questions could be deducted from this scenario. First, “are the officers refusing to patronize the secondary health centers to enjoy the dividend of being government workers? Second, “are the officers’ health status not monitored enough by the state employer and their agency”.

For the purpose of this article, area of focus is Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) taking into cognizance hazards opened to the operational officers on the field, making their body systems require constant medical attention.

In addition, having engaged in pilot study among the operational officers in LASTMA on their perception on the availability and accessibility to health care delivery as civil servants, majority upheld that since the period around 2013 till date, they are satisfied with the health care interventions of the state, and thereby agree that Lagos state government has been considerate in its little way. Though, they consented that while health care services granted by the state do not appear totally free, LASTMA officials are often prescribe drugs by the physicians on ordinary feverish condition, but at least the cost of professional services is free.

However, the best person to take care of one is oneself, and it is discovered from the above point that civil servants in Lagos state do not only pay attention to their health, but are also patronizing the general hospitals from which they receive free medical services. Where there seems to be an itch is the impact of the higher authority in LASTMA on monitoring the health condition of its operational staff. In other words, only drug is not enough to cure health issues of LASTMA operational officers.

According to social psychologists, the physiological activeness of human body system is a function of psycho-social management, and not basically an internal fix-enhancement remedy such as medicines (George K., 1964, Richard O., 1983., Daniel W., 1997). What this implies is that, some people are conscious of the fact that they are always stressed due to their demanding nature of their job, yet they continue taking drugs and refuse to sleep and rest.

According to orthodox medical practitioners, sleep plays important roles in one’s physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. In order to gain psychological and social balance, an adult must sleep between 6-8hrs every night (Not in 24hrs). Not every officer has enough time to abide by this simple principle due to their work nature.

In fact, it is important to mention at this juncture that while it is expected that officers on morning duty should officially resume at their choke point at 6am, some officers resume long before the stipulated time, not because they are diligent or naturally punctual, but because of the reasons best known to them.

NOTEWORTHY

1. The General Manager, LASTMA has made a very remarkable and impressing step on making sure that the principal officers often get their blood pressure checked at the staff clinic, headquarter. Of course, this step is a way of monitoring their health status. However, while it is accepted that these principal officers go through psychological stress that could incriminate their body system, they do not constitute up to 5% of officers who are opened to natural hazards on the field.

Between January and November, year 2017, no principal officer has been reported deceased due to infirmity suffered on the field. This is

 

remarkable, but the reverse is the case on regular officers. All officers (Operational and administrative) need medical checkup, and it must be compulsory and monitored by the authority. It could be done on monthly basis while medical practitioners go around the zones.

2. Getting their blood pressure check is not enough. Did you even know that some officers are deprived of going on annual compulsory leave? Some officers are even rejecting going on leave. The reason is attached to either the productivity of the officer or unavailable of the relieving officer. Either former or latter, the reason is seen as baseless. If an officer is dispossessed of going on leave, what if he dies (God forbid) or falls sick terribly, there is every assurance that the work continues and such officer will be replaced in no time. The best asset of an individual is his health. When it is sound, other things will be enjoyed in peace. Ensure officers go on their annual compulsory leave. Officers are refusing to go, not only because they are diligent or dedicated to their duties, but because of fear of the unknown, greediness, and other reasons best known to them.

3. Some officials do unofficial overtime. Some resume earlier than necessary and close very late. As mentioned earlier, not all of them (Not sure there is any) are doing this for diligence purpose or the benefit of the public, but for their selfish reason, their pocket. Let them go on their compulsory annual leave, at least to rest and cover up. Some officer even say they are used to the job, and they cannot afford not being on the road for a day. It is a lie. What if they got ill or retired? Some officers are drunkards. Some are hardened smokers. Go on leave; do not die before your time

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