Gunmen Kidnap Three Federal Medical Officers In Ondo

20 Feared Killed By Fire In Ondo Road Accident

Three members of staff of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, Ondo State have been kidnapped by some yet to be identified gunmen.

The victims which include a medical doctor, a nurse and a record officer were kidnapped on Wednesday, while on their way from Akure, the state capital to Owo.

A colleague of the victims in a phone interview with Channels Television said the abductors are demanding for a sum of N50 million as ransom.

READ ALSO: Armed Bandits Kill 16 Police Officers In Zamfara – Police

The source who pleaded anonymity said the premises of the hospital has been thrown into confusion as a result of the incident.

The spokesperson of the Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph also confirmed the incident.

He added that the police have commenced investigation into the situation.

Gunmen Kidnap Medical Director, Admin Staff In Kogi

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The Police in Ebonyi State Police has confirmed the kidnap of the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Dr Emeka Onwe Ogah and one of his Administrative officer.

The Commissioner of Police In Ebonyi State, Mr Titus Lamorde speaking to Channels Television correspondent in a telephone conversation, said the incident occurred on Thursday, November 16 in Kogi State.

READ ALSO:Kogi Govt Imposes Emergency Curfew In Five LGAs

The incident he said, occurred around Ajaokuta while the medical Director was returning to the state from Abuja where they went to a meeting.

He said the driver of the vehicle was shot while the CMD and his administrative officer were abducted in the process.

Lamorde said security operatives in both states are already putting immediate measures in place to rescue the victims alive and arrest the culprits as soon as possible.

He appealed to the public to furnish security operatives with meaningful information that will help on the matter

Kogi State Records Case Of Lassa Fever

Kogi State Records Case Of Lassa FeverThe Kogi State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Lokoja, the state’s capital in North-central Nigeria.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, who confirmed this to Channels Television, said the affected patient was diagnosed after returning from a trip outside the state.

He explained that the patient was rushed to the emergency unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja after he was discovered to show signs and symptoms indicating haemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Audu said the patient was eventually transferred to the Federal Specialist Hospital, Irrua in Edo State for optimal care.

“The confirmation was done after a patient who is a resident in Old Market area in Lokoja reported at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja with signs and symptoms suggestive of haemorrhagic fever.

“The state epidemiologists immediately responded by sending the patient’s blood sample to the designated laboratory at the Federal Specialist Hospital, Irrua, Edo State for analysis which came back positive for Lassa fever,” he said.

The Commissioner noted that following a meeting with the State Rapid Response Team, provisions were made for contact tracing and prophylactic treatment for medical personnel who had contact with the patient.

“All these have been concluded as all those who have had contact with the patient are currently being monitored.

“It is important to note that the patient had travelled to Ilorin, Kwara State where he stayed for two weeks; he only developed symptoms of haemorrhagic fever two days after his return,” he added.

Dr. Audu stated that since the incubation period for Lassa fever is between six to 21 days, the State Government cannot completely say it has curtailed the menace.

He, however, said that they have put in place measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was notified of 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths in Nigeria between August 2015 and May 2016.

The organisation added that 165 cases and 89 deaths have been confirmed through laboratory testing.

Resident Doctors Threaten To Commence Strike Action In 2017

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri, StrikeThe National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has advised the Federal Government to urgently wade into the lingering crises in the health sector to the avert impending strike by doctors.

NARD issued a three-week strike notice that would lapse on January 2, 2017.

The Public Relations Officer, NARD, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa branch, Dr. Ugoeze Asinobi, said that the doctors had shelved the planned strike three times in the past four months and are bent on going on strike as from January 2.

The doctors are agitating for a uniform template for the Residency Programme, infrastructure for tertiary health facilities, proper grading of doctors and payment of outstanding salaries, among other issues.

According to Asinobi: “We don’t want strike, but we are going to resort to it again.

“The Residency Programme is fundamental to effective health care, given the dearth of manpower as the country has less than 20 per cent of required experts.

“Each time the ultimatum expires, we shift it in the hope that things would be made right within the time given, but it is now obvious the Ministry officials are insincere.

“The issues we go on strike for are always the same issues and we are resolute to withdraw services come January 2, 2017, if our concerns are not addressed.

“One wonders if health ministry officials are sabotaging the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari on purpose, as their brazen and blatant disregard to the most basic institutional needs of the major workhorses of the health sector leaves a lot to be desired.

“Their attitude leaves one bewildered as sabotage appears to be the only logical explanation,” he stated.

Furthermore, he alleged that officials of Federal Ministry of Health are playing politics with the lives of Nigerians as they are insensitive and disconnected from the realities the masses were facing in their daily lives.

“NARD frowns at the wastage in building new primary health centres, rather than rehabilitating, equipping and staffing existing ones with requisite manpower”.

“Resident doctors have always embraced dialogue and discussions in finding lasting solutions, but it is obvious that our commitment to peace and industrial harmony is yet to be reciprocated”.

The P.R.O then appealed to the federal government to wade into the industrial dispute for the overall interest of the welfare of the citizenry.

According to him, executives of NARD remain committed to ending the myriad of incursions adversely affecting the welfare of resident doctors.

Ogun Lassa Fever: Hospital Says Disease Contained

Lassa Fever, Ogun, Disease The management of a Federal Medical Centre in Idi Aba says necessary measures have been put in place by the institution to curtail the spread of Lassa fever in Ogun State.

The declaration follows the death of an assistant chief nursing officer on Tuesday as a result of the disease outbreak in Abeokuta, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Mr Babatunde Ipaye, who confirmed the incident, said that about 196 primary contacts with the victim and possible secondary contacts were being monitored with a view to keeping a tab on them.

He had also said that though the primary source of the new case was yet to be identified, the case was being investigated.

Speaking on the development on Wednesday, the Acting Chief Medical Director, Mr Kehinde Ohunyinbo, told reporters that the area where the deceased was attended to had been decontaminated while isolated centre and other necessary things meant for treatment have been put in place.

He assured the people of the state of safety in the institution.

Mr Ohunyinbo, however, said the centre was ready for any eventuality, as they work hand-in-hand with the Ogun State government to curtail the spread of the virus.

Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Ogun State

lassa fever in Ogun StateThe Ogun State government has confirmed a new case of Lassa fever in the state in southwest Nigeria.

The disease reportedly claimed the life of an assistant chief nursing officer at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba in Abeokuta, the state’s capital.

The incident was confirmed on Tuesday by the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Mr Babatunde Ipaye.

Mr Ipaye said that about 196 primary contacts with the victim and possible secondary contacts were being monitored with a view to keeping a tab on them.

He noted that though the primary source of the new case was yet to be identified, the case is being investigated.

Necessary precautions are being taken to curtail the spread of the disease, he stated.

The commissioner urged the people of the state not to exercise any unnecessary apprehension over the development.

He, however, asked them to always maintain a high level of personal hygiene to nib possible infection in the bud.

After the outbreak of the disease was reported in some other states in September, the Ogun State government assured residents that it had activated its disease surveillance and notification structures to detect any case of Lassa fever on time and deploy appropriate measures to prevent and control the spread of the disease.

Imo Residents Protest Prolonged Crisis At FMC Owerri

Imo Residents Protest Prolonged Crisis At FMC OwerriConcerned residents have taken to the streets of Owerri, the Imo state capital, to call on various interest groups at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), to give peace a chance.

For over a year, the medical centre has been plunged into what seems to be unending controversy and disagreement between the management and the workers.

The prolonged crisis is over the recall of the medical director of the institution, who the workers say they no longer feel comfortable with.

Now, a group of Imo citizens are intervening in the crisis, calling on all concerned to sheath their sword.

fmc3Leader of the protesters, Mr Princewill Okowe, said the FMC Owerri “was set up for the benefits of the Imo people and not unionists and for over one year, the people that claim to be unionists have made the FMC not to function normally”.

According to o him, “the Federal Medical Centre is the only federal tertiary health institution we have in Imo state”.

“If that centre is messed up, any health challenge at the level of tertiary health care, will mean that the Imolites would have to travel to other states to access tertiary health care and that wouldn’t met with the good welfare of our people,” he stressed.

Financial Misappropriation

The institution’s MD, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, was arraigned by the Economic and Finanacial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on an 18 count charge, bordering on financial misappropriation and embezzlement to the tune of 242 million Naira.

This followed a petition by the (Joint Health Sector Union) JOHESU Of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mainforce Ekwu, alleged that according to the petition, Mrs Uwakwem, conspired with one Mr Emmanuel Ajayi, to inflate the price of medical equipment bought for the centre.

The accused on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to the 18 count charge leveled against her.

Nasarawa Indigents Get Free Surgeries and Screening

doctors-free-surgeriesOver 500 indigent in Nasarawa residents have benefited from free surgeries and screening under the Rapid Response Initiative.

The initiative which was conducted in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi is in line with the federal government’s vision to reach out to 10,000 indigents across the country who cannot afford medical surgeries for various illnesses.

One hundred free surgeries were allocated to the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and they have been conducted successfully.

In addition to the surgeries, free testing and screening was conducted to over 400 indigents to know their status on some killer diseases.

The Chief Medical Director, Dr Joshua Giyan, who underwent the surgeries himself with the help of some consultants of the clinic applauded the federal government for the initiative.

Mr Giyan also called on the people of the state especially well to do individuals to join hands to help underprivileged people in the state.

Happy with the initiative, he promises to sustain it even after the stipulated time.

“It is a step in the right direction, we are going to continue even after this. I urge all and sundry to put hands on deck and support this type of venture so that indigents will have succour in the area of health care,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Blessing Edache who had lumps in her breast removed successfully, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian President for such initiative.

“I thank God for making it possible for me to be alive today. I was admitted here for an operation (breast lump), I thank the President for remembering us,” she said.

Surgeries conducted include lumpectomy, inguinal herniorrhaphy, hydrocelectomy, cataract extraction, myomectomy, correction of refractive errors.

Screening for hepatitis, diabetes. prostate cancer, breast cancer were also conducted. Those found positive were counselled adequately on the next line of action.

Labour Gives FG 21 Days To Resolve FMC Owerri Crisis

FMC Owerri, LabourThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have given the Federal Government of Nigeria a 21-day ultimatum to resolve the industrial crisis at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri.

The ultimatum is contained in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole.

The unions asked the government to summon the Chief Medical Director of FMC Oweri, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, to answer the cases she has with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They claimed that her return to the hospital at a time she was being prosecuted by the EFCC was a violation of the civil service rule.

Reacting to the allegation, the Mrs Uwakwem stated that her accusers cannot be the judges in their own case.

The Federal Government had earlier announced her reinstatement as the substantive Medical Director of FMC Owerri, after about 10 months of stepping aside.

The directive for the recall was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.

The government insisted that it has not found Uwakwem guilty of the allegations levelled against her.

The development consequently triggered series of protest by health workers and labour unions at the health institution in Imo State, southeast Nigeria.

The workers vowed not to return to work until their demand was met.

Angela Uwakwem Is FMC Owerri Medical Director, FG Tells Protesters

FMC Owerri, Angela Uwakwem, ProtestersThe Nigerian Government says it has not found the Medical Director at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, guilty of the allegations levelled against her.

The assertion follows series of protest by health workers and labour unions at the health institution against the recall of Mrs Uwakwem as the substantive Medical Director of FMC Owerri after about 10 months of stepping aside.

The directive for her reinstatement was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.

Dr. Ehanire said the recall of Dr. Uwakwem was with immediate effect, adding that the institution’s management would be supported by staff from the Federal Ministry of Health.

A Presidential Directive

Contrary to the claims of the protesters, the Minister argued that her appointment was a presidential issue and her removal could only be done through a presidential directive.

“Should evidence of misconduct be found against her, Dr. Uwakwem will answer for it and face the law as no person shall be protected from justice.

“Since Dr. Uwakwem’s four-year tenure is valid until 2017 and no evidence of misconduct against her was raised by a Ministerial Fact Finding Commission, the Ministry desires rule of law to prevail over mob action,” he stated.

The reinstated medical director told reporters at the Imo State capital that the tenure of the interim management committee had expired and that she had taken over following the Federal Government’s directive.

She reiterated her commitment to ensuring better delivery of healthcare services to the people of the state in southeast Nigeria.

Uwakwem further called on aggrieved workers to cooperate with her for the development of the centre.

However, the union had staged a protest three days ago where they down-tooled and called on the government to reverse its plans to recall Mrs Uwakwem.

While they vowed not to return to work until their demand was met, security operatives have been detailed to the centre to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

On his part, President of the Association of Resident Doctors in Imo State, Dr. Victor Dike, says they are readily available to carry out their services to the public without interruption.

FMC Owerri Workers Protest MD’s Recall

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri
They warn that the reinstatement of Dr. Uwakwem will lead to chaos

Workers of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri have staged a protest over the recall of the former Medical Director, Angela Uwakwem.

Dr. Uwakwem was earlier asked to step aside over allegations of financial misappropriation.

During the protest on Wednesday, which was carried out by a huge number of workers at the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri, the workers maintained that since the former CMD was relieved, there has been peace in the centre.

They added that any attempt to forcefully bring back Dr. Uwakwem will cause chaos in the centre.

Doctors, nurses, and other workers of the institution in July, 2016, held a similar protest saying since the Interim Management Committee was set up by the government to handle the affairs of the centre, there has been normalcy in the medical institution.

A Presidential Directive

Their protests follows the directive by the Federal Ministry of Health to reinstate the suspended Medical Director.

The directive for her reinstatement is contained in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Dr. Ehanire in statement said the recall of Dr. Uwakwem is with immediate effect adding that the institution’s management would be supported by staff from the ministry.

Contrary to the claims of the protesters, the minister argued that the appointment of the Medical Director of the centre is a presidential issue and her removal can only be done through a presidential directive.

“Should evidence of misconduct be found against her, Dr Uwakwem will answer for it and face the law as no person shall be protected from justice.

“Since Dr Uwakwem’s 4-year tenure is valid until 2017 and no evidence of misconduct against her was raised by a Ministerial fact finding commission, the Ministry desires rule of law to prevail over mob action,” he said.

FMC Owerri Resident Doctors Threaten Indefinite Strike

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri, StrikeResident doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri, Imo State have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike in no distant time.

The medics say they would commence the industrial action if the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health fails to meet their demands which have continued to linger for a long period of time.

The President of Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital, Dr. Victor Dike, gave the warning on Friday on behalf of his colleagues in the Imo State capital, south-east Nigeria.

He claimed members of the association were being owed their December 2015 salaries and were yet to be paid their arrears accruing between five to 15 months.

The resident doctors lamented that they have been short-changed and marginalised in their remuneration, saying it only affected the chapter of the association in Nigeria.

He urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, dissolve the present interim management committee of the institution.

The medics appealed for the appointment of a permanent Managing Director for the centre, stressing that the present interim management committee have limited powers to carry out some constitutional functions.