COVID-19: NMA commends Government on containment effort
Gloria Essien, Abuja
The Nigerian Medical Association has commended the Nigerian government through the Presidential Steering Committee, on the recently issued international travel advisory and the re- institution of restrictions aimed at protecting Nigerians from the third wave of COVID-19.
The president of NMA, Prof Innocent Ujah, gave the commendation while reading out a communique issued at the end of the association’s Annual General Conference and Delegate Meeting, held in Jos, the Plateau state capital, north central Nigeria, at a media conference, in Abuja.
Prof Ujah also appealed to adult Nigerians, especially medical and health workers and persons with co-morbidities to go for COVID-19 vaccination as it has been clinically demonstrated to be safe and effective in reducing infection rates.
“The Conference commended the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 (formerly PTF) on the recently issued international travel advisory and followed up with the re-institution of restrictions, all aimed at protecting against a third wave of the infection.
He also encouraged the government to look into the area of local production of COVID-19 vaccine. “The Conference taking cognizance of the fact that Nigeria had demonstrated capacity in vaccine production against Yellow fever in the past through the Federal Vaccines Production Laboratory Yaba but stopped in 1991 for several reasons, strongly appealed to the federal government to spare no efforts at ensuring the success of the renewed initiative with the inauguration of the Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd a joint venture between the FG and May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
The Nigerian Medical Association will be very pleased if the initiative sees the light of the day so as to reduce the over dependence on other countries and achieve self-sufficiency in vaccine production” The NMA President said.
On the issue of insecurities in Nigeria, the NMA said that it is saddened by the worsening spate of crisis in the country.
“The Conference is saddened by the worsening spate of killings, maiming, kidnapping, banditry, arson, insurgency and other forms of violence with attendant socio-economic consequences in almost every part of Nigeria. NMA is deeply concerned that healthcare delivery has been severely affected and therefore called on all citizens to jettison dangerous unpatriotic and tendencies while urging the federal government to renew its efforts to quickly bring this humanitarian disaster under control”. Prof Ujah said.
The president also noted that the conference reviewed the level of progress by some states in clearing the backlog of salary of doctors while urging states yet clear, to do so.
“Governments of Kogi and Edo states were appreciated for clearing the backlog of salaries for their doctors but expresses dismay and dissatisfaction with the remaining states for their failure to pay doctors their deserved wages. AGC/DM therefore strongly appealed to the concerned State governments to clear the backlog of entitlements owed her members and endorsed any lawful action that those State chapters may adopt in obtaining their due benefits and compensations for work already done,” He said.
The Nigerian Medical Association President also noted that “ the Conference acknowledged the report of the Remunerations and Welfare Committees as it concerns Hazard allowance, Retirement Age, Specialist Allowance and urges Government to expedite action to conclude the process in order to forestall any further disruptions of services in the public health sector”.
Prof Ujah added the Association was in consultation with all relevant offices to seek clarification on the appointment of Consultant Pharmacists as a new Public Service cadre with a view to clarifying areas of ambiguity, streamlining the functions and ensuring that the role of the doctor in being the final decision-making authority in patient care remains sacrosanct
The Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting (AGC/ADM) of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) tagged “Tin City 2021” held in Jos Plateau state Nigeria between 25th April and 1st May, 2021. The theme of the Conference was “Nigeria and the Global Health Agenda 2030.”
The Conference was preceded by several humanitarian, social and Advocacy oriented activities including a medical outreach to the Jos Correctional Centre, Media engagements on the theme and subthemes, and courtesy visits to important and strategic personalities in Plateau state.