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Feud between Akwa Ibom, NMA may jeopadise government’s effort

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Dr. Dominic Ukpong


The hostility between Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong and the state Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) could jeopadise the state government’s effort on COVID-19.

It is the reason the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State has described as unfortunate, the media war between the Coalition of Health Professionals and the state Commissioner for Health on his preparedness against the outbreak of Coronavirus in the state.

In a statement by Amos Etuk and Dominic Akpan, Chairman and Secretary of the council respectively, yesterday, the Union reasoned that it was unfair, if the health commissioner had called for stakeholders meeting but refused to invite the NMA leadership.

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NUJ said: “The episode at Watbridge on Friday, March 27, 2020, where the Coalition of Health Professionals walked out on the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, for not inviting the Nigerian Medical Association, a strategic stakeholder in the health sector to the meeting to discuss further on the Coronavirus pandemic, is most unfortunate.

“A situation where a section of the health professionals that will be involved in the management of the Coronavirus is not carried along in the preparations, if eventually, there is an outbreak does not sit well on the expectations of the people of the state.

“We decry in very strong terms the spate of conflicting reports circulating in the media on the state of our preparedness, especially as they relate to proactive measures that would protect the lives of the citizens, God forbid, we are finally confronted with this pandemic.
 
“We also condemn the resort to attributing all contrary voices of reason, particularly the issues raised by the NMA, as myopic and politically-motivated by the relevant authorities.”
 
It would be recalled that the Coalition of Health Professionals had on March 25, after its meeting, issued a communiqué calling on the state government to up its preparations against COVID-19. But this did not go down well with government, thereby leading to claims and counter claims from government officials and NMA leadership.

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COVID-19Dominic Ukpong
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