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NMA raises the alarm over safety of workers, plans security summit


The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has alleged insecurity of health workers across the country.

A statement by the Chairman, National Committee on Security and Safety of Medical Doctors, Dr. Omolei Friday Imoniche, disclosed this yesterday.

According to him, medical doctors and health workers have become the targets of kidnappers and other criminals in the country.

He warned that it would be impossible to achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on healthcare, unless the workers’ safety is guaranteed.

Imoniche lamented that insecurity, insurgency and the kidnap of medical workers, have worsen the mortality rate of maternal, under-five and new births.

The statement claimed that criminals posing as patients are breaching security and safety protocols on emergencies, in hospitals.

“Newborn babies are brazenly stolen in some hospitals, while doctors and nurses are sometimes beaten up by angry people who lost their loved ones,” he said.

As part of the measures to address the challenges, the NMA has planned a national conference on security of hospitals and health workers.

The event, which is scheduled to hold from March 7 to 9, 2018, is in collaboration with other agencies and stakeholders in the health sector.
The summit would feature presentations, case studies and lessons from last incidents, and strategic action plans on security risk management.

Meanwhile, the strike called by health workers at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, in Enugu, has grounded activities at the hospital.

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) is spear heading the strike. The Guardian learnt that many patients have been withdrawn from the hospital, leaving only the helpless ones.

The Chairman of Medical and Health Workers Union at the hospital, Mathew Eze, said that the action was necessitated by the arrears of salaries and allowances owed to them.

He added that the action was also to protest against percentage salary and other illegal deductions from their salaries.

The union leader disclosed that they had issued the hospital management a 21-day ultimatum to address their grievances.

The Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives in the hospital, Eric Ugwu, also justified the strike.

Reacting, the Director of Administration at the hospital, Mrs. Ndidi Igwenagu, confirmed that medical workers had been on strike.

She, however, said that they do not grant media interviews, adding that such applications should be made to the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Jojo Onwukwe.

Efforts to reach Onwukwe through his phone number proved abortive as he neither answered calls, nor responded to text message sent to him.

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