3rd wave infections: Get vaccinated against COVID-19, NMA counsels health workers, others

Worries over killings, banditry, kidnapping

By Chioma Obinna

Amid speculations of a possible entrance of the Indian COVID-19 variant of concern into the country, the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has appealed to adult Nigerians, particularly, medical and health workers and persons with co-morbidities to go for COVID-19 vaccination.

The NMA also expressed worry over what it described as a “worsening’ spate of killings, and kidnapping, among others, calling on the federal government to quickly bring the humanitarian disaster under control.

Making these calls among others in a communique at the end its 61st Annual General Conference held in Jos, Plateau State recently, the President of the NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah, and Secretary-General, Dr Philips Uche Ekpe,  reiterated that the COVID-19 vaccine has been clinically demonstrated to be safe and effective in reducing infection rates.

They also expressed concern on 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 medical doctors called on the Federal Government to lead in mobilising state and local governments to garner the highly needed political will, financial resources, partnerships and other requirements to re-jig their emergency plans, preparedness and response to epidemics/pandemic, appropriate funding of existing health institutions and services.

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They stressed the need for adequate provision of welfare and a conducive work environment for doctors and other healthcare workers. It further called for the revamping of local vaccine production, LVP, in Nigeria.

“Taking cognizance of the fact that Nigeria had demonstrated capacity in vaccine production against Yellow fever in the past through the Federal Vaccines Production Laboratory Yaba but stopped in 1991 for several reasons, we strongly appealed to the federal government to spare no efforts at ensuring the success of the renewed initiative with the inauguration of the Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd a joint venture between the government and May & Baker Nigeria Plc.

“The NMA will be very pleased if the initiative sees the light of the day so as to reduce the over-dependence on other countries and achieve self-sufficiency in vaccine production.”

The NMA said it was 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.

They also posited that the insecurity has also affected healthcare in Nigeria.

“NMA is deeply concerned that healthcare delivery has been severely affected and therefore called on all citizens to jettison dangerous unpatriotic and tendencies while urging the federal government to renew its efforts to quickly bring this humanitarian disaster under control.”

“The conference resolved to continue with the high-level advocacy for the improvement of access, quality of healthcare services and financial risk protection that will guarantee the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (Agenda 2030) such that no Nigerian is left behind in health towards achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The Conference was worried about the shoddy implementation of the centralised placement of the House Officers and resolved that NMA would not spare any efforts at ensuring speedy and fewer complications in its implementation of this commendable policy.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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