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NMA laments suicide among heath workers


Decries brain drain in Kaduna
Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is worried that medical doctors, who are supposed to provide succour for victims of depression, now commit suicide. It called for a holistic approach to address the tragic situation.

Addressing the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Abuja chapter of NMA yesterday, the president, Prof. Francis Faduyile, noted the alarming rate of suicide in Nigeria, adding that the country recently recorded so many cases among health workers.

He observed that due to the rating of Nigerians as the happiest people on earth, there was an erroneous belief that they could not take to suicide.

Faduyile, however, asserted that the harsh economic situation in the country contributed to the increasing cases of the scourge.

According to the NMA president, depression is the major cause of suicide.

Pointing out the need to educate health workers on responding to suicide cases, he cited a doctor who was trying to resuscitate a suicide victim and was arrested by the police.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Dr. Eziechila Joseph, said that suicide accounted for about one million deaths worldwide, and the leading cause of death among adolescents.

Chairman, NMA-FCT, Dr. Philips Ekpe, described the theme of the AGM, ‘The Rising Trend of Suicide in Nigeria: A Holistic Perspective’, as apt because of the rising trend among health workers, especially doctors.

Meanwhile, with about 60 per cent of medical personnel reported to have left Kaduna in search of greener pasture, Kaduna State chapter of NMA has warned that shortage of medical practitioners in the state could affect healthcare delivery, if not checked.

Addressing journalists on the association’s AGM, the chairman, Dr. Stephen Kache, said the mass exodus could be a “direct consequence of poor remuneration, poor working condition, working extra hours due to low manpower and in some cases lack of career progression.”

The association, however, began the AGM by offering free medicare to more than 100 less-privileged persons at Sabon Tasha General Hospital.

Dr. Kache said the exercise became necessary to help those who could not afford their bills.

Earlier, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the facility, Dr. Samuel Gajere, who was represented by a family physician, Dr. Sandra Okoli, described the intervention as awesome, saying it would go a long way in assisting indigent patients.


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