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Ebola: Doctors fault FG on insurance scheme

By Chioma Obinna

Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, picked holes in the well publicised Federal and state governments’ Life Insurance Cover for medical doctors and other health workers that volunteer to assist in the management of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, saying “they are willing to volunteer if there are enough protective gadgets and details of the insurance clearly spelt out.”

Lagos State Ebola Virus Isolation Center
Lagos State Ebola Virus Isolation Center

This is coming on the heels of the directive from the national body of NMA that all doctors and nurses should insist on being well protected through provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, before getting involved in the high risk components of the control processes.

The Chairman of NMA, Lagos State chapter, Dr. Tope Ojo, challenged the Federal Government to declare details of the insurance.

Ojo said the benefit of such life insurance should be extended to all medical doctors and healthcare workers.
He said: “It will be risky for them to volunteer due to the poor level of protection for health workers. It is necessary to specify the fund that is on ground and how to determine what volunteers get, and they must be on public domain.”

Ojo argued that even in the face of the Ebola outbreak, government was yet to address one of its demands which include the increment of hazard allowance for doctors, nurses and other health workers in the country.
The Secretary, Lagos NMA, Dr. Babajide Saheed, said federal and state governments must put in place adequate infection control measures for it to effectively contain the outbreak in the country.

He said: ”Visit the IDH hospital in Yaba and find out what the Federal Government has put in place for infection control and compare it to what health workers in Guinea and Liberia had while treating Ebola patients.”


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