By CHIOMA OBINNA
A passionate plea has gone to the three tiers of government to improve disaster management plan and awareness in the country.
Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Alh. Muhammad Sani Sidi who spoke at the August Ordinary General Meeting, AOG, of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos noted that while the Federal Government had invested in emergency response and care services, most of the states and local governments had no structure in place for crises management.
Sidi, who admitted that NEMA came under severe criticisms in the recent past over levels of response to disaster in the country, however noted that the Agency was the only one coordinating different specialized agencies responsible for disaster management.
Assistant Director, Planning Research and Forecaster NEMA, Benjamin Oghenah who represented the DG said: “Disaster management is the coordination and integration of all activities necessary to build, sustain and improve the capacity for disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Disaster management is multisectoral and NEMA is the coordinating organ, ensuring that all disciplines work in coordinated manner.
“Local governments can at least have basic equipment to respond first to emergency pending when other specialized agencies will arrive. But do they have a reserved fund for emergency management? We are happy that the resident doctors recognized emergency management and we hope to strengthen the collaboration.”
President ARD, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan called for better protocols patients go through to get emergency care services. “This SERVICOM that was brought is a strategy that all patients have the right to be served. It means that as you come in, whether you have money or not, you will receive emergency care.
“But the other thing is the equipment and this is where government need to come in more. What government should do is to make all centres capable of handling emergency care.”