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COVID-19: Call Kogi, Cross River governors to order, NMA urges Buhari

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Non-inclusion of COVID-19 cases by NCDC: C’River NMA goes on indefinite strike

By Chioma Obinna

The National President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Professor Innocent Ujah, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately call to order the governors of Kogi and Cross River states to avert further escalation of the COVID-19 cases in the two states.

Ujah in a chat with Vanguard also accused the health commissioners in Kogi and Cross River states of playing politics with the health of Nigerians.

The NMA president who stated that the Governors are creating barriers despite the facts that people are dying in those states urged President Buhari to direct the Governors and the commissioners to allow residents of the states to access COVID-19 test.

“Conspiracy theories remain a challenge, unfortunately, people not believing in it will create more problems and that is discordant tunes. The NMA in Cross River is going on strike because of what they know that exists in the state. The doctors said they have done some tests and found five COVID cases; unfortunately, the NCDC has not captured them. “The doctors are going on strike because they are questioning the rationale for excluding Cross River State from the epidemiological data.”

Condemning the behaviour of the commissioners of health in Kogi and Cross River state, Ujah who regretted that they were all medical doctors said it was unfortunate they are playing politics with the lives of people.

Threatening to drag the commissioners to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, he said: “If we have complaints that are properly authenticated with affidavits, those two doctors will face a disciplinary committee of the MDCN because it is unethical to play politics with the health of the people. I think the president through the members of Presidential Taskforce, PTF, should call them to order because they are not alien in the characterisation of diseases.”

Further, lamenting that Kogi is a transient state, as a lot of people pass through it to South East, South West and North he said: “It requires the urgent intervention of the President at this time because when there is an explosion nobody should blame the medical doctors and other health workers.”

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Cross River may soon record cases over border reopening ― Ayade

He warned that NMA may be forced to take a drastic decision that may not palatable in clinical services should the problem continues.

“We will be made to take actions that may not be palatable in clinical services and at that time people will be saying we abandon our patients. The president should intervene so that people will be allowed to test. It is only when you test you will know whether you are negative or positive unless you do the test.”

He further appealed to medical doctors in those states to continue to provide services to Nigerians.

He regretted that many Nigerians are poor and do not know their rights in situations like this.

“We are living in an illiterate society where the rights of the people are subsumed under the hardship of social and economic circumstance and because they are hungry they don’t even know that it is their rights to ask for the right things to be done.

“The doctors and other health workers are also committed to providing services. All they need is the enabling environment to operate and one of the enabling environments is to ensure that people are tested so that they know their status not just for treatment but for the public health good.

“We should be able to map the country completely to contain the virus rather than denying that the virus is not real. People should be allowed to do the test to ascertain whether they are positive or negative.

Vanguard

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