Over 70 per cent of the workers in the Federal Ministry of Finance, including top officials, have high blood pressure as a result of excessive stress at work.
The Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Permanent Secretary, Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia, who spoke in Abuja at the commissioning of the Federal Ministry of Finance Welfare Facilities, including crèche and clinic, said many of the workers in the Finance Ministry were affected.
The Minister said even the Minister of State, Bashir Yuguda, and Permanent Secretary had hypertension as confirmed after a recent medical test conducted in the ministry.
Although the Minister later apologized to the Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary for disclosing their health status publicly, she attributed the development to the stress the top managers and staff in the ministry go through in the course of discharging their duties.
“It sounds unbelievable. But, it’s true. The three of us are on medication. At times, we have to be in the office as late as 1 a.m. looking for how the country will get money to finance her activities,” she said.
She said now that the clinic has been established and certified by the Federal Ministry of Health, the staff can take full advantage of the facility to take care of themselves.
The idea of the crèche, the Minister said, was to make the ministry family-friendly.
On her part, Ms. Daniel-Nwaobia said the medical test became necessary after one of the workers in the ministry who had an emergency medical situation, was rushed to the hospital and was later diagnosed of high blood pressure.
Subsequently, the Permanent Secretary said the Ministry approached the Federal Ministry of Health to send a medical team to conduct a compulsory medical examination for the entire workers.
After weeks of intensive medical examination by the team, Ms. Daniel-Nwaobia said the result showed that more than 70 per cent of the workers were hypertensive as a result of stress at work.
She said the decision to establish the clinic and the crèche within the premises of the headquarters of the Ministry became necessary to ensure that the medical needs of the workers were met, while a place would be available for their wards to stay during official hours.