Habiba Ahmed on Eyewitness News said her explanation to her superiors over her decision to wear her hijab was ignored despite making reference to the Health Minister’s directive on the matter.
She narrated that the principal nurse at the hospital earlier last week issued a directive to all Muslim medical officers not to wear their hijab to work.
| || |
“Around half past noon [Tuesday], the principal nurse came in and called me. She asked why I was still in my hijab because there was an incident that happened last week. She asked us to remove our hijab, which we did, so today she asked why didn’t I listen to what she told me… she asked me to follow her and told me to take my bag along because maybe I may not come back to the unit,” she narrated on Eyewitness News.
Habiba indicated that, together with her Muslim colleagues, she is unsure whether to wear their hijabs to work following the directive given by both the President and the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has served notice that it will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and sanctions will be applied where necessary.
The spokesperson for Health Ministry, Tony Goodman, sympathized with Habiba and expressed surprise that “some managers in our facilities are still behaving this way.”
He warned that the Ministry will not condone such blatant disregard of the rules “because we have issued express directives instructing them to allow people to practice their religion in their own way and not in this manner.”
Mr. Goodman expressed disappointment in the development and promised to follow up.
He admitted that due to the processes such directives go through before reaching the various health facilities nationwide, it is possible that the letters may not have reached some medical centres.
He was, however, quick to add due to this foreseeable situation, that is why the Ministry copied the media in the Minister’s directive “for some of those institutions to get some of these information ahead of their bosses, so I am surprised they are still saying that they have not gotten this circular.”
“It’s been read in the media, it’s been said in the media that this is what the Ministry of Health has said and I have seen a lot of circular on this so anybody who will say that I have not heard this and for that matter, my boss has not written to me so I am not going to adhere to it is just trying to be mischievous about this,” he added.
Muslims in Ghana have demonstrated to press home their demand that schools and other institutions must give them room to practice their religion.
They want to be exempted from Christian prayer sessions in public schools and also they want their women to be allowed to wear their hijab either to work or to school.
The Communication Ministry subsequently issued a directive to all institutions to allow Muslims to practice their religion without any hindrances.
The President in his State of the Nation address last week, also warned that any head of institution who violates the directives will be sanctioned accordingly.