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Nigerian Medical Association suspends strike in Cross River

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The Nigerian Medical Association in Cross River has suspended its indefinite withdrawal of services in all public and private hospitals in the state.

The Association suspended the strike in a communique jointly signed by the state Chairman, Dr Agam Ayuk and the Secretary, Dr Ezoke Epoke at the end of an Emergency General Meeting held in Calabar.

The Association had earlier embarked on strike on July 5 on the failure of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to reflect the five Covid-19 cases sent for laboratory test by the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital which returned positive.

Following the earlier withdrawal of services by NMA in the state, the Federal Government on July 6, sent a 17-member delegation from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) to Cross River.

The team was led by the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of National Primary Healthcare, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, to set up a Covid-19 response strategy in the state that will align with the national response.

However, on July 6 the five confirmed positive cases were recorded on the NCDC table.

“The Association hereby suspends the total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services in all public and private hospitals in Cross River with immediate effect.

“We deeply appreciate the Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, for the activation of two COVID-19 Test Centres at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) and Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar.

“We are most grateful to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman PTF on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha and the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Enahire for the timely 17-member delegation from the Presidential Task Force and Federal Ministry of Health.

“We also appreciate the NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, the National Officers’ Committee and members of NMA for their support to NMA in Cross River.

“The Association welcomes the official recognition of the five COVID-19 confirmed cases from UCTH by NCDC which has resolved the lingering uncertainties negatively impacting public health and safety and has provided clarity on the COVID-19 status of Cross River and the required response strategy,” the communique stated.

The Association enjoined the Cross River Government to keep to the resolutions of the meeting held between PTF/FMoH COVID-19 delegation, NMA Cross River branch and the Cross River Ministry of Health on July 7.

NMA appealed to citizens of Cross River to follow the NCDC guidelines on infection prevention and control, thereby reinforcing their commitment to working with the Federal and State Governments to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“We sincerely thank the Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme, and Management of UCTH, the Immediate Past NMA 2nd Vice President, Dr Ofem Enang, Immediate Past Chairman, Dr Effiong Mkpanam, Past Chairmen of the Association, distinguished Medical Elders and members of NMA, Cross River branch.

“We appreciate the media and citizens of Cross River for their understanding, patience and support during this challenging period,” the Association said.


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