By Michael Oche
With Support from the Solidarity Center AFL-CIO, Trade Unions in West Africa under the umbrella of Organization of Trade Unions of West Africa (OTUWA) have commenced designing new communication strategies to increase awareness on quality and affordable healthcare for workers.
Our correspondent reports that with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the poor availability of healthcare facilities and medical personnel in West Africa, OTUWA in 2020 with support from Solidarity Center, commenced a campaign tagged ‘Healthcare is a Human Right’
The campaign was targeted at pressuring African leaders to prioritize and increasing budgetary spending on health facilities and supplies.
OTUWA with further support from Solidarity Center later expanded its regional ‘Healthcare is a Human Right’ advocacy campaign to include informal workers-based unions and created a network of informal sector workers network to undertake a comprehensive regional campaign at the sub regional and national levels.
However, under its new strategy, OTUWA has resolved to include members of Civil Society Organizations from Nigeria, Togo, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.
Speaking at a recent virtual meeting, OTUWA general secretary, John Odah said with guidance from the Solidarity Center’s communication department, the OTUWA team will develop coordinated messages that targets National parliaments, Ministries of health and other decision making bodies, at country level
Bashman Mohammed, Senior Program Officer, Solidarity Center AFL-CIO who spoke on behalf of his organisation said the Solidarity Center is committed to providing technical support to OTUWA in their quest to improve healthcare within West Africa.