By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA-The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has concluded plans to host a National Conference on Security of Hospitals and Health Workers.
The Chairman, NMA National Committee on Security and Doctor’s Safety, Dr. Friday Imoniche, said the conference will feature expert presentations, case studies and lessons from past incidents and strategic action plans in the areas of security risk management for hospitals; security threats, risk and vulnerability for health workers; movement of security, due diligence and others.
He said the confab, which is scheduled to hold in Abuja from March 7th to 9th 2018, is the first component of a three-part initiative designed to enhance security of hospitals, medical doctors and other health professionals.
According to him, “Medical and health workers have become targets of choice for insurgents and kidnappers. Security and safety protocols of emergency units of hospitals are routinely breached by criminals posing as patients. New born babies are brazenly stolen in some hospitals.
“The consequence of insecurity of hospitals and medical workers for healthcare delivery are devastating. Access to healthcare is harder as medical workers and their families relocate away from insurgency and kidnap prone environments.
“Primary Healthcare facilities have been shut down. Vaccination programmes are compromised. Pregnant women are at greater risk; and achievement of 2030 UN SDG of ensuring healthy lives for all more difficult.
“Attention of governments and hospitals are redirected towards reacting to fallout of terror attacks and kidnap incidents rather than focusing on healthcare delivery.”
Vanguard recalls that the UN suspended Humanitarian work, until next weekend, near the border with Cameroon where nearly 80,000 people depend on emergency food aid and medical care.