The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm over the poor delivery of healthcare services, as a result of the worsening state of insecurity in the country. This was contained in a communiqué signed by President of the NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah and the Secretary General, Dr. Philips Ekpe, issued at the end of the NMA’s Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting held in Jos, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja. The NMA urged the Federal Government to renew efforts to quickly bring what was described as a “humanitarian disaster” under control, and appealed to all citizens to jettison dangerous unpatriotic tendencies.
The communiqué reads in part: “The Conference is saddened by the worsening spate of killings, maiming, kidnapping, banditry, arson, insurgency and other forms of violence with attendant socio-economic consequences in almost every part of Nigeria. NMA is deeply concerned that healthcare delivery has been severely affected.” Lamenting the epidemiological triple jeopardy of existing infectious diseases, emerging infections, including the ongoing pandemic and the ticking time bomb of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the NMA called on government across all levels to garner the highly needed political will, financial resources, partnerships and other requirements.
According to the NMA, these were needed to “rejig emergency plans, preparedness and response to epidemics/pandemic, appropriate funding of existing health institutions and services as well as adequate provision of welfare and conducive work environment for doctors and other healthcare workers.” Commending efforts of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID- 19 to avert a third wave of the infection, the NMA appealed to the Federal Government not to toy with the inauguration of the Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd, which would help ensure vaccine self-sufficiency and reduce the over dependence on other countries.
While calling on Abia, Imo, Ondo, Ekiti and Anambra states to clear the backlog of salary arrears owed doctors, the NMA requested the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to modify and insert exemption clauses that would protect medical qualifications and Scheme of Service and salary status of House officers.