The Nigeria Medical Association on Monday in Ilorin urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector.
The Kwara Chairman of NMA, Dr Abdulkadir Ahmed, made the call while addressing newsmen as part of activities marking the 2022 Physician Week.
According to him, Nigeria is losing human resources for health in geometric progression, yet the country still had to be alert to the fight against Lassa Viral Haemorrhagic fever, Malaria, COVID-19, Ebola, and Marburg, among others.
He, therefore, called on the government to quickly declare emergency action in Nigeria’s health sector for the sake of citizens, adding that there is a need to do more on the security of lives and properties.
“Insecurity is impacting negatively on the health of Nigerians and the ability of healthcare workers to deliver services to Nigerians.
“The roads are not safe for our members to move freely to their places of work, especially those outside Ilorin and even our members are afraid of driving at night to attend to emergencies because of fear of kidnapping within the Ilorin metropolis,” he said.
He observed that despite the national drawbacks, the Nigerian doctor has a lot to celebrate this week just for being alive.
Ahmed asserted that NMA Kwara members have recorded a lot of successes in career development with many passing their fellowship examinations, and getting promoted to the rank of Professors and Associate Professors.
He disclosed that at least five NMA members from the state were appointed to NMA National offices.
The NMA chairman however expressed sadness at the devastating effects of the flood ravaging the nation, while appealing to the government at all tiers to assist victims and also actively initiate measures to avert flooding.
“This is one flood too many in our recent history as a nation; we say no more floods while we await active and proactive measures from relevant organs and agencies of the government concerned.
“Our beloved country is passing through difficult times but I know that if we persevere and continue being the best that we can be, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Nigeria is at a turning point and we all are hereby charged to stand as compatriots to obey the call of Nigeria. We must never let the labours of our heroes past be in vain,” he said.
Ahmed also advised citizens to choose good leaders and do away with politics of pecuniary benefits to move the country forward.
He stated that the Nigerian doctor is overworked, lacks necessary working tools, and has become a target for kidnap in addition to being grossly underpaid.
He lamented that members have been taken from the lofty heights of nobility to nothingness by the neglect and possible disdain for the health sector by successive governments.
“The penchant of state governments seizing or slashing salaries and paying it piecemeal has become a subject of folklore and unthinkable. This trend must be reversed immediately.
“Recently, the Federal Government and some states of the federation also started the implementation of the newly revised hazard allowances for all health workers.
“These have made Kwara State Service unattractive to doctors as evidenced by the massive reduction in the number of doctors in service,” he said.
The NMA chairman, therefore, advised the Kwara government to recruit and replace medical doctors that resigned from the state services.
He, however, commended the Kwara government for trying to reposition the health sector through rehabilitation and equipping hospitals, primary healthcare centres, and efforts at accreditation and reaccreditation of residency programmes in General Hospital, Ilorin, among others.
Ahmed added that activities of the week include zoom meetings on topical issues and medical consultations for the general public and NMA members to check their health as they also run busy schedules.