PHOTOS: Doctors Protest, Condemn Assault On Female Colleague In Abuja

Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) protest in Abuja on January 16, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Abuja have protested the harassment of one of their members by a patient’s relative.

The protesters took to the streets of the nation’s capital on Thursday one week after a female doctor was assaulted at the Maitama District Hospital.

The doctor was reportedly stripped naked by one of the relatives of a patient following the death of their mother from a chronic medical condition.

The protesters marched in numbers to the Federal Capital Development Authority to express their grievance over the incident.

Some of them carried different placards with various inscriptions, while others called for justice and more secured working environment for members of the association.

The NMA Chairman (FCT chapter), Ekpe Phillips, condemned the incident during an interview with reporters in the nation’s capital.

He said, “There should be an undertaking by patients that their relatives will not show any act of violence to any doctor or healthcare worker, as doctors are scared to come to work due to the violent act of some patients.”

Phillips, therefore, called on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, to deploy appropriate security measures to protect the lives of residents, especially health workers.

See photos below:

Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) protest in Abuja on January 16, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Five Doctors Killed In Libya Air Raid

 

Five doctors were killed in an airstrike by forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar in a field hospital near the capital, the health ministry of the UN-recognised government said.

Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive in April to try to wrest Tripoli from forces of the Government of National Accord which is based in the capital.

Pro-GNA forces have weathered the initial onslaught and since then fighting has remained deadlocked on the outskirts of the city, with both sides resorting to air strikes.

“The field hospital located on the airport road (south of Tripoli) was hit by an air raid. Five doctors were killed and seven other people, including rescuers, wounded,” health ministry spokesman Lamine al-Hashemi said.

The strike occurred on Saturday and was carried out by “a Haftar warplane”, he said.

READ ALSO: Armed Men Kill 14 In Burkina Faso Village Raid

“It was a direct hit against the hospital which was packed with medical teams,” Hashemi added.

There was no immediate confirmation or denial of responsibility from Haftar’s forces.

The attack was the third to target a hospital south of the capital.

On July 16 three doctors and a paramedic were wounded in a strike on the Swani hospital near the capital, the second time it was targeted.

The World Health Organization and rights groups have repeatedly called on both sides in the conflict to spare medical personnel, clinics, and hospitals.

The fighting since April has left nearly 1,100 people dead and wounded more than 5,750, according to the WHO. More than 100,000 civilians have fled their homes.

AFP

Kidnappers Demand $1.5million For Doctors Taken In Kenya

Gunmen Kidnap Two Oil Workers In Rivers

 

Gunmen who kidnapped two Cuban doctors in northeastern Kenya and whisked them to Somalia have demanded $1.5 million (1.35 million euros) for their release, police and government sources said on Thursday.

The pair — a general practitioner and a surgeon — were abducted on April 12 by suspected Al-Shabaab jihadis in Mandera, near the border with Somalia.

One of two police officers escorting the doctors to work was shot dead by the attackers, who sped off toward Somalia with their captives, officials said.

READ ALSO: 11 Missing Niger Soldiers Found Dead After Gunmen Killed 17

Kenya and Somalia are working together to find the doctors, who Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel identified as Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodriguez Hernandez.

A top government official in Mandera said the kidnappers have demanded a ransom.

“The amount is $1.5 million. That is what they want,” the official said on condition on anonymity.

A senior police officer told AFP a ransom had been demanded, but would not elaborate. Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino said he had no such information.

Several sources said the doctors were believed to be providing medical services in Somalia.

They were part of a group of about 100 Cubans who went to Kenya last year to boost health services there.

Kenyan police sources said the kidnapping bore the hallmarks of Al-Shabaab, a militant outfit that has been waging an insurgency against Somalia’s foreign-backed government for over a decade.

Last November, an armed gang seized Silvia Romano, 23, an Italian charity worker, in the southeastern Kenyan town of Chakama. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Police at the time warned against any speculation that Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, may have been involved in her abduction.

AFP

We Need More Doctors, We Don’t Have Enough – Nigerians Reply Chris Ngige

 

 

Reaction have trailed comments by The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige,  suggesting that the mass exodus of doctors from Nigeria is not a thing to lose sleep about. 

Chris Ngige had on Wednesday, said that he is not bothered about the decision of medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

While featuring as a guest Channels TV Sunrise Daily, Ngige said the practice is not alien to Nigeria, because he was taught by Indians in secondary school.

“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”

Nigerians in reaction to the minister’s comments have taken to social media to air their views on the subject matter, with many holding views at variance with Ngige’s claim that the nation has a surplus of medical doctors.

Below are what Nigerians are saying with respect to Ngige’s claim.

READ ALSO: FG Vows To Improve Primary Health Care Delivery In Nigeria

VIDEO: Doctors Are Free To Leave Nigeria Because We Have Surplus, I’m Not Worried – Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige has said that he is not bothered about the decision of medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

Ngige who was a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily said the practice is not alien to Nigeria, because he was taught by Indians in secondary school.

“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”

Ngige, when asked if nothing was wrong, owing to his position as a qualified medical doctor, said there was nothing wrong in their choice to practise overseas, at the detriment of Nigeria’s health sector.

“There is nothing wrong, they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.”

READ ALSO: Dogara Slams Tinubu, Lists 8th National Assembly’s Achievements

The minister said the move does not amount to brain drain when asked.

“Those guys go there, they are better trained because of the facilities they have there. Eventually, I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government hospitals cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.

“Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.”

Pele Under ‘Observation’ In Brazil Hospital

Brazilian football legend Pele speaks during a meeting with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France national football team forward Kylian Mbappe at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris/ AFP

 

Pele remains under “observation” in a Brazilian hospital, his doctors said Thursday, describing the three-time World Cup winner as “clinically stable”.

The latest update on the Brazilian football great’s health comes a day after the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said he would need an operation to remove a “ureteral stone”.

The 78-year-old was admitted to the medical facility on Tuesday after he returned from France where he had spent six days in a Paris hospital for a urinary tract infection that required surgery.

READ ALSO: Atletico To Appeal Costa’s Eight-Match Ban

Pele “remains clinically stable and in good health”, the Sao Paulo hospital said.

“He has been medically evaluated and is still under observation.”

Pele, who is widely considered to be the greatest footballer in history, was discharged late Monday from the private American hospital in the Paris suburbs where he had been taken after falling ill following an appearance at a promotional event with France striker Kylian Mbappe.

Pele, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and perhaps most memorably in Mexico in 1970 when his swashbuckling team re-defined modern football, has had several health scares in recent years.

AFP

Doctors End Strike In Zimbabwe Without Deal

 

Doctors in Zimbabwe have ended a more than month-long strike without winning a deal on higher salaries, their union said Thursday, adding the government had pledged to address their grievances.

Hundreds of doctors in public hospitals walked out on December 1 demanding salaries in US dollars, an increase in on-call allowances and an improvement in drug supplies and equipment.

Their decision to return to work came days after teachers’ unions announced a strike and the main civil service union said it was consulting members after rejecting the government’s offer of a 10-percent pay rise.

“We have declared that the strike has ended as the dialogue continues and we expect that our members should start reporting for duty,” Mtabisi Bhebhe, president of the Hospital Doctors Association, told AFP.

“Government has committed to address the salary issue and improve drug supplies and supply of medical sundries and equipment.

“Poor remuneration and the current fuel shortages remain a challenge which may hinder our members from reporting for duty consistently.”

Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for more than a decade with shortages of cash, high unemployment and the government battling to pay its workers as public services crumble.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time ruler Robert Mugabe and won a disputed election last year, has pledged to revive the moribund economy and attract foreign investors.

AFP

Two Italian Doctors Probed Over Footballer Astori’s Death

Fiorentina’s Italian defender Davide Astori (C) fights for the ball with Napoli’s Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain during the Italian Serie A football match between Acf Fiorentina and Napoli at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence. (FILE) Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

 

Two doctors who issued medical certificates declaring former Italy international footballer Davide Astori fit to play despite evidence he suffered from a heart condition prior to his death are under investigation for negligent homicide, the public prosecutor’s office in Florence confirmed on Monday.

Fiorentina captain Astori was found dead in his hotel room in the northeastern city of Udine on March 4 this year ahead of a Serie A match against Udinese.

An initial post mortem suggested the 31-year-old died from bradyarrhythmia –- when the heart slows so much it stops -– but the causes are unclear.

The doctors, who signed the fitness certificates which gave Astori the all-clear to play, work for public bodies in Florence and Cagliari, where the defender played for eight years.

The announcement of the investigation comes after Florence-based daily La Nazione published details of two electrocardiogram tests carried out on the player in July 2016 and July 2017.

Both reportedly showed anomalies, in particular the latter, which allegedly demonstrated that the player suffered from a ventricular extrasystole, or irregular heartbeats.

The documentation published by the newspaper has been handed over to the investigators.

Former Roma and AC Milan player Astori, the father of a two-year old girl, also played 14 times for Italy over a six-year international career.

AFP

Doctors Discover 122 Nails In Patient’s Stomach In Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Flag

 

Ethiopian doctors extracted over a hundred iron nails and other sharp objects from the stomach of a patient in the capital Addis Ababa at the weekend.

Dawit Teare, a surgeon at St. Peter’s Specialised Hospital, said the 33-year-old patient suffers from mental illness and had apparently consumed the items, including 122 four inches (10 centimetres) nails, four pins, a toothpick and pieces of broken glass.

“The patient has been suffering from mental illness for the last 10 years and had stopped taking his medication two years ago, one probable reason he started consuming inanimate objects,” Dawit told AFP after the two-and-a-half hour operation.

“I’m guessing he consumed the objects with the help of water, however, he is a lucky person that those sharp objects didn’t cut his stomach. That could have led to serious infections and even death,” he said.

The surgeon said that while he had dealt with other cases in which people with mental illness had swallowed multiple sharp objects, he had never encountered a case on this scale.

Dawit added that the patient was recovering well.

AFP

Revenge Of A Forgotten Medical ‘Genius’

 

 

It’s not an uncommon fate for a pioneering scientist: languishing unrecognised in his time before dying in obscurity. But as his 200th birthday approaches, the life-saving work of a Hungarian obstetrician is finally getting its due.

Decades before Louis Pasteur won widespread acceptance for the germ theory of disease, Ignac Semmelweis was battling his peers to accept what is today medical orthodoxy — doctors should thoroughly disinfect their hands before treating patients.

Born on July 1, 1818, Semmelweis joined the obstetrics department of Vienna’s general hospital in 1846 and was immediately struck by the extremely high maternal mortality rate in the wing where student doctors trained: it stood at more than 10 percent, at times going up to almost 40 percent.

By contrast, in the neighbouring wing where midwives trained, the rate stayed under the contemporary average of three percent.

“This disparity troubled Semmelweis enormously and he started a thorough epidemiological study,” says Bernhard Kuenburg, president of Vienna’s Semmelweis Foundation.

A commemorative plaque for pioneering scientist Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis stands in the garden of the General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus, AKH) in Vienna on June 28, 2018.
ALEX HALADA / AFP

 

In 1847, the penny dropped when a colleague died of septicaemia after carrying out an autopsy: Semmelweis surmised that dead bodies must hold invisible but potentially deadly “particles”.

“At the time, medical students went directly from an autopsy to assist with a labour without disinfecting their hands,” Kuenburg told AFP.

With soap not being enough to fix the problem, Semmelweis imposed a more rigorous regime of hand-washing for five minutes with a harsh chlorinated lime solution.

With this “very simple method” Semmelweis slashed the mortality rate “to almost zero,” Kuenburg says.

Fiery disposition

But instead of plaudits, Semmelweis suffered the wrath of the grandees of Vienna’s medical fraternity and in 1849 his contract was not renewed.

“The self-estimation of the doctors was very high back at this time. Of course they were offended because they didn’t like the idea that they were guilty of causing this terrible mortality rate,” Kuenburg says.

Moreover, it would still be a quarter of a century before Pasteur was finally able to prove the existence of “microbes”.

Other doctors demanded evidence, according to Kuenburg.

“They said: ‘No, Mr Semmelweis cannot be right. He cannot show us the pathogens so something is fishy with this theory.'”

And Semmelweis’s fiery disposition and lack of tact didn’t help — he did not shrink from calling colleagues “killers”.

Towards the end of his life his mental health deteriorated and he died in an asylum in 1865, at the age of 47.

 

A commemorative plaque for pioneering scientist Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis stands in the garden of the General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus, AKH) in Vienna on June 28, 2018.
ALEX HALADA / AFP

100 deaths a day in the EU

At the end of the 19th Century Semmelweis’s reputation began to be rehabilitated after the discoveries of Pasteur, Robert Koch and Alexandre Yersin bore out his theories.

In 1924 the French writer Louis-Ferdinand Celine dedicated a medical thesis to him and hailed him as a “genius”.

Today he is considered the father of modern theories of hospital hygiene and sterilisation.

But even though disinfecting hands is accepted as common sense for medical personnel, the practice still isn’t as systematic as it should be, according to Professor Didier Pittet, infection control expert at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Worldwide, the practice is only adhered to “in 50 percent of cases on average, even though it can prevent 50 to 70 percent of hospital infections,” he told AFP.

Some 3.2 million people are affected annually by hospital-acquired infections within the EU, resulting in 100 deaths every day.

Pittet estimates the global figure for such deaths to be between five and eight million year Hungary.

“Disinfecting the hands with an alcohol solution is cheap and simple and has an immediate impact on infection rates,” including for multi-resistant organisms, Pittet says.

But despite this, “it’s an act which isn’t taken seriously enough, notably by doctors themselves” Pittet says, adding that some seem to think worrying about sterilising their hands is somehow beneath them.

However, the WHO’s “Clean Care is Safer Care” campaign, launched together with 19,000 hospitals worldwide in order to raise awareness of the importance of hand sterilisation, is starting to pay off.

Following the lead of a programme piloted by Pittet in Swiss hospitals in the 1990s, rates of hand disinfection in Australia and certain Asian healthcare facilities are at almost 85 percent.

“Twenty years ago the rate of hand disinfection was only around 20 percent. Now it’s becoming one of the sexiest topics in medical literature,” says Pittet.

“In a way, it’s Semmelweis’s revenge.”

AFP

Resident Doctors Threaten Fresh Strike After JOHESU’s Industrial Action

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has threatened to embark on a fresh strike.

NARD’s spokesman, Mr Ugochukwu Eze, said in Kaduna that the association cannot guarantee industrial harmony after their scheduled meeting with the Federal Government on Saturday.

“As the 21 days grace handed over to the federal government to resolve all lingering issues as well as the recalling of its members sacked by the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) elapsed on Thursday, May 31, we scheduled a meeting for June 2, while warning that we cannot guarantee industrial harmony,” he said.

The decision of the resident action to embark on strike comes few hours after the Joint Health Sectors Union (JOHESU) called off their industrial action.

JOHESU’s 44-day old strike that paralysed all activities in the nation’s public hospitals brought untold hardships on Nigerians.

It is expected that the leadership of the association would meet with the Minister of Labour, Mr Chris Ngige this evening after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum it issued the Federal Government.

At the meeting, it would be decided when a threatened nationwide industrial action would commence.

The development comes after the Joint Health Sectors Union (JOHESU) suspended its strike following the intervention of the Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki.

Last September, members of the association embarked on an indefinite strike to press the government to honour past agreements on staff welfare, payment of arrears since 2013 and deteriorating health facilities in government hospitals.

The groups’ ultimatum expired on the day JOHESU announced the suspension of its own strike which lasts just over a month.

Reject Gunshot Victims And Get Jailed, Police Warn Doctors

Imohimi Edgal
File photo: Imohimi Edgal

 

The Lagos State Police Command has warned hospitals and doctors to henceforth desist from rejecting gunshot victims, saying such act constitutes a flagrant violation of an existing law.

In a statement on Wednesday by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Chike Oti, they said doctors who do so are criminally liable on account of the provision of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.

The Command issued the statement following a report on the refusal of a hospital to treat a victim who was shot and wounded by armed robbers in his house at Ofada-Mokoloki area of Ogun State.

It noted that requesting a police report to treat the victim was unlawful and inexcusable, noting that it would henceforth arrest and prosecute any medical practitioner who rejects gunshot victims on such ground.

“The Command considers the action of the hospital as cruel; perhaps, an indication that the hospital management may be ignorant of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims Of Gunshot Act, 2017.

“The Act, however, requires the hospital treating such a patient to report the fact to the nearest police station within two hours of commencement of treatment,” the statement read.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Imohimi Edgal, who was saddened by the allegation against the said hospital, consequently directed the arrest of any medical practitioner who violates the law.

He further directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the state to diligently prosecute any medical practitioner who rejects a gunshot victim on the ground of no police report.

“The CP wants doctors to note that the Act recommends a five-year jail term for any person, hospital, or authority who stands by or omits to do his bit which results in the unnecessary death of any person with bullet wounds,” the statement added.