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Resident doctors denounce attacks on health workers

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Medical practitioners under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have protested against rising attacks on health workers by relations of patients on admission in hospitals and other health centres across the country.

The association, therefore, called on the Federal Government to enact a law that would protect doctors and other health workers from assaults and attack, while performing their duties.

In a statement jointly signed by the National President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, Secretary-General, Dr. Bilqis Muhammed and Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr. Egbogu Stanley, the association condemned the recent attack on members who were performing their legitimate duties in Maitama District Hospital, Abuja and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.

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According to Sokomba, the doctors were on duty when they were assaulted by patient’s relations, saying: “We condemn, in very clear terms, the recent assault of a female doctor at Maitama District Hospital, Abuja, who was violently attacked, beaten and stripped by relatives of a patient she was treating, on January 9.

“Health professionals are threatened and attacked, sometimes even while providing life-saving emergency care. It is disheartening to say the least that a female doctor would be physically abused in such a dastardly manner by the relatives of the patient she was managing.”

“In another incident at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, two male doctors on call at the special care baby unit were beaten mercilessly by a patient’s relatives in the wee hours of the morning of Tuesday, January 14, after the assailants lost a newborn baby to neonatal asphyxia despite adequate resuscitation by the doctors on call.”

He argued that although violence against doctors was not peculiar to Nigeria, this must not be allowed to continue.

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