KARACHI - Scores of nurses from across the Sindh province took to the streets and boycotted their duties for acceptance of their demands on Monday.

They staged a protest in front of Karachi Press Club (KPC), which was still going on till filing of the story.

Joint Nurses Action Committee (JNAC) said that the strike would be continued until acceptance of their demands. The committee is comprised leadership of Young Nurses Association (YNA) Sindh, Provincial Nurses Association(PNA) and Private School Nursing Association (PSNA) to voice for their rights.

Afshan Nazli said that we had presented 10 demands and requested the chief minister and Health Department to accept it and implement immediately.

She said that 4-tier formula for nurses should be approved forthwith; health professional allowance be release through-out province; decision of Pakistan Nurses Council and Ombudsman Sindh regarding holding special exam to save future of 400 nursing students be implemented in letter and spirit; stipend of nursing students be raised upto 20,000 per month as equal to Punjab and KPK; nursing schools be allowed DDO powers; announcement be made to establish a nursing university and funds be allocated; 14,000 new nurses be appointed by creating new posts; additional secretary technical in health department should be appointed from nursing cadre, announcement of Sindh Public Service Commission regarding positions of controller and deputy controller be followed in letter and spirit; selection during election of Pakistan Nursing Council from Sindh be cancelled.

Ghulam Dastagir, member of Nursing Action Committee, said that we presented our justified demands to health department officials but to no avail.

“Nurses are considered back bone of health system but Sindh health department wanted to make it disable,” he commented.

Meanwhile, Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pehcucho during her press conference believed that the nurse’s demands were not logical and government would not be blackmailed by their unfair means, however their legal demands would be addressed soon.

She said: “We must consider their real demands and reinforce the service infrastructure and pay scales.”

During the press conference, she further highlighted the work done by Health department regarding ongoing measles campaign.

She said that the measles campaign in Sindh has reached the one week mark and teams have done a great job in covering children across the province.

“The total target for the last 7 days was 3.76 million children out of which 97%, (3.65 million children) have been covered across the province, she added.

The total target for the measles campaign is 7.1 million children and we are on our way to achieving above 95 percent of the target, the first week’s results are heartening, she added.

She further said that however there are areas in Karachi where more attention needs to be paid to increase coverage, especially in District Central and District West of the city: Deputy Commissioners and DHOs must lead vaccination efforts so that we can get maximum coverage this week. The campaign will continue until the 27th of October, those with low coverage must focus on refusal conversion, finding not available children and social mobilization.