NMA, Group To Offer Free Medical Services To The Less Privileged In Niger

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

The Nigerian Medical Association in partnership with Concern Group has commenced free medical outreach for the less privileged in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.

Speaking during the flag-off of the exercise at the Maikunkele Primary Health Care Center, NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Abubakar Bosso, said the association provided the technical support while the group however provided all the logistics and finances for the program.

He noted that the annual medical outreach has witnessed a large turnout this year due to awareness and trust of quality services offered during the exercise in the last four years.

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In his remark, the Coordinator of the exercise, Bala Ahmed, said that the group which started the initiative in 2007, consisting of youths and civil servants from the community who contributed from their income to offer various services to the people free of charge due to high poverty.

Some beneficiaries of the programme, Aliyu Yusuf and Jummai Mohammed, told Channels Television that they were grateful for the free medical programme and called on individuals, local and state governments to emulate the kind gesture.

This is even as the District Head of Maikunkele, Suleiman Dada, appreciated the gesture offered to his people.

He, however, appealed for the timely completion of the council Primary Health Care facility that is currently at 60 percent completion over the years.

The medical services offered at the ongoing outreach include sicknesses free tests for hypertension, diabetes, malaria as well as free dental and surgical operation for hernia and lipoma among others.

[UPDATE] FG Rejects 21-Day Ultimatum Issued By NMA

NMA logo

 

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has rejected the 21-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government by the Nigeria Medical Association saying it is in direct collision with the Memorandum of Understanding signed on August 21.

The NMA had threatened to join the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors if the government failed to resolve all the issues contained in the various agreements signed with its affiliate unions.

But reacting on Sunday evening, to the threat in a statement titled, ‘Labour Ministry to NMA: Your 21-Day Ultimatum in Collision With Our MoU,’ the government argued that the NMA’s position was at variance with the timeline stated in the Memorandum of Agreement.

Read Also: NMA Issues FG 21-Day Ultimatum To Resolve Industrial Disputes With NARD, Others

This ultimatum was part of the resolutions reached during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, held in Benin City last week.

“After due consideration, NEC put the Federal Government on a 21 days’ notice to fully resolve all the issues contained in the various agreements signed with Affiliate members of the Nigerian Medical Association (including MDCAN, MEDSABAMS, and NARD),” the statement jointly signed by its President, Prof Innocent AO Ujah and Secretary, Dr. Philips Uche Ekpe, read.

According to the doctors, if the Federal Government fails to implement the agreements after the expiration of the 21- day notice, the NMA will summon an emergency delegate meeting.

NMA’s ultimatum is the latest in the lingering tussle between the Nigerian government and NARD which has gone on strike since July 31.

Despite a series of meetings between the Federal Government and the striking doctors, no resolution has been reached.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had in the wake of the disagreements threatened to invoke the “no-work, no pay” rule on NARD.

But the NMA has thrown its weight behind the striking doctors and other health workers.

“The Nigerian Medical Association fully supports all her affiliates in their efforts to improve the healthcare delivery in Nigeria and the welfare of her members,” it assured.

NMA Issues FG 21-Day Ultimatum To Resolve Industrial Disputes With NARD, Others

NMA logo

 

 

The Nigerian Medical Association has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to resolve all lingering industrial actions with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, and other affiliate members.

This ultimatum is part of the resolutions reached during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, held in Benin City.

“After due consideration, NEC put the Federal Government on a 21 days’ notice to fully resolve all the issues contained in the various agreements signed with Affiliate members of the Nigerian Medical Association (including MDCAN, MEDSABAMS, and NARD),” the statement jointly signed by its President, Prof Innocent AO Ujah and Secretary, Dr. Philips Uche Ekpe, read.

READ ALSO: Two Children ‘Abducted’ From Lagos By Nanny Rescued In Benin-City

According to the doctors, if the Federal Government fails to implement the agreements after the expiration of the 21- day notice, the NMA will summon an emergency delegate meeting.

“In the event that the FG fails to implement the agreements after the expiration of the 21 days’ notice, NMA shall summon an emergency delegate meeting to review the progress made on the implementation of the agreements,” the NMA added.

Full Support

NMA’s ultimatum is the latest in the lingering tussle between the Nigerian government and NARD which has gone on strike since July 31.

Despite a series of meetings between the Federal Government and the striking doctors, no resolution has been reached.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had in the wake of the disagreements threatened to invoke the “no-work, no pay” rule on NARD.

But the NMA has thrown its weight behind the striking doctors and other health workers.

“The Nigerian Medical Association fully supports all her affiliates in their efforts to improve the healthcare delivery in Nigeria and the welfare of her members,” it assured.

“NEC affirms that no doctor shall be victimized for participating/not participating in the strike action by NARD.”

 

Striking Doctors Refuse To Sign New MoU With FG After Six-Hour Meeting

Federal Government representatives met with striking resident doctors on August 21, 2021.
Federal Government representatives met with striking resident doctors on August 21, 2021. Friday Okeregbe/Channels Television

 

The leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has refused assent to a new memorandum of understanding brokered by the Nigeria Medical Association to end the three weeks old strike that has crippled medical services in government hospitals across the country.

NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, declined his assent owing to an undisclosed clause.

According to Okhuaihesuyi, NARD’s leadership has to consult with members of the association before he appends his signature.

READ ALSO: FG, Striking Doctors Meet Again In Abuja

Addressing journalists after the over six hours closed-door meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said all other unions in the negotiation, including the Nigeria Medical Association and the Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria, signed the new agreement, having agreed on all the issues raised.

Meanwhile, the minister also clarified that the meeting did not discuss the issues of ‘no work, no pay,’ but said all parties at the meeting agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

The Federal Government had taken the striking doctors to court last week, as it asked the National Industrial Court to mandate the doctors to return to work.

The hearing on the case was adjourned to September 15.

The doctors had embarked on a strike on August 2, citing unpaid benefits and other issues.

While the industrial action lingered, the Federal Government threatened to enforce a ‘no work, no pay’ policy.

Gunmen Kidnap Ex-NMA Secretary’s Son In Ogun

A photo combination of a gun and map of Ogun state

 

Gunmen have kidnapped Ademola Alayaki, the son of a former National Secretary of the Nigerian Medical Association, Adewunmi Alayaki. 

Ademola, 25, was kidnapped at his father’s farm in Isaga Orile, Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State on Wednesday.

The Ogun State police spokesman, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident. He noted that a manhunt has been launched by the tactical team of the Nigeria Police Force to track down the abductors and rescue the victim unhurt.

Already, the kidnappers have reached out to the family and are demanding N20 million for his release, a development confirmed by the police spokesman.

As of the time of this report, the family is yet to make a statement on the issue.

READ ALSO: 11 Abducted Children, Adults Escape From Bandits’ Camp In Kaduna

The police have launched a manhunt for the abductors.

 

Kidnapping for ransom is a common occurrence in many parts of Nigeria. Wednesday’s incident is the latest in kidnapping for ransom cases in the South-West state.

About two weeks ago, gunmen kidnapped a Swiss national, Andred Beita, and his Nigerian driver simply identified as Ifeanyi.

Police authorities in Ogun said the incident occurred along the Ibese-Itori Road. Oyeyemi explained that the victims were captured by the bandits on their way back from a farm in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

Zamfara Doctors Give Govt Two-Week Ultimatum To Tackle Insecurity

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Zamfara has given the state government a two-week ultimatum to urgently address rising insecurity.

NMA issued the warning on Saturday after its State Emergency Executive council meeting in Gusau, the state capital.

He said should the government fail to address the security challenges in the state, medical workers would shut all health facilities by 6 pm daily.

This followed the invasion of General Hospital in Dansadau Emirate, Maru Local Government Area of the state by suspected bandits, leading to the abduction of a ward attendant and patient’s relative last Friday.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Lagos Panel Minimises Oral Testimony To Fast-Track Petitions

Chairman of the association, Dr. Mannir Bature said the report he got was that the bandits were specifically looking for doctors and nurses in the hospital, lamenting that it was worrisome for medical practitioners in the state.

He asked the government to work with security agencies to provide adequate and special security to secure all health facilities and to protect healthcare workers across the state to enable them to carry out their constitutional duties without fear of being attacked by bandits.

The NMA boss also asked security agencies to boost intelligence gathering with a view to taming the activities of bandit’s informants within the communities, which he believes are responsible for the escalating security challenges in the state.

Kidnapped Doctor Regains Freedom In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

A medical practitioner, Solomon Nidiamaka, who was kidnapped on Monday in Kogi has regained freedom.

The victim who works at the General Hospital, Ugwolawo in Ofu Local Government Area of the state, was whisked away by gunmen from the premises of the hospital.

This was confirmed in a statement jointly issued by Chairman and Secretary of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Omakoji Oyiguh and Famotele Tolorunju on Wednesday, noting that he was released on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Bayelsa SSG’s Mother

It is, however, unclear if any ransom was paid to secure the release of the kidnapped doctor.

“The State Officer Council (SOC) of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi, wishes to update all concerned that our member, Dr Solomon Nidiamaka, who was kidnapped on July 19, regained his freedom from the cruel hands of kidnappers yesterday,” the statement partly read.

“He is being currently managed by his medical colleagues. NMA appreciates the government of Kogi, security agencies, Chairman of Ofu Local Government Council, vigilantes and Hunters’ Association who all responded to the distress call and all those who called to show solidarity.”

The association also asked the Federal Government to create more jobs for the teeming unemployed youths roaming the streets to stem incident of kidnapping in the society.

Govt Has No Idea Which Schools Are Ready To Re-Open – NMA President

 

The federal government has no statistics to measure which schools are prepared for re-opening amid the coronavirus pandemic, President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Professor Innocent Ujah, said on Monday.

Prof Ujah made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Based on the federal government’s directive, schools resumed in several states nationwide on Monday.

But critics say the government hasn’t done enough to ensure schools are equipped to observe COVID-19 regulations such as social distancing and wearing of face masks.

READ ALSO: [PHOTOS] Schools Re-Open In Abuja Amid Pandemic

“If we know that children should go to school, what facilities have we put in place? Our problem is that we do a lot of talking and do very little,” Prof Ujah said. “It is also true that we do not listen to experts.

“What we have been saying is that the coronavirus is totally unprepared for and one year after, what lessons have we learn?

“We know that students should go to school, we know that they should maintain NCDC protocol. But what have we done in schools? Nigeria is a very interesting country, a country full of contradictions.

“The truth is we have no statistics as far as I know, of the number of schools that are ready, whether public or private, and what they should put in place. I feel that we are very sentimental as a nation.

“While we are saying that schools should be reopened, we should be prepared. Who are those monitoring? Who are those supervising the process? Because we can talk and we don’t supervise.”

We Must Test COVID-19 Vaccines Before Giving It To Nigerians – NMA

In this file photo taken on December 8, 2020 a member of staff draws the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine out of a phial at the Southmead Hospital, Briston. Graeme Robertson / AFP / POOL

 

The Nigerian Medical Association on Monday said COVID-19 vaccines being imported into the country must undergo a quick clinical trial before it is administered to citizens.

According to the NMA President, Professor Innocent Ujah, reactions to vaccines differ among different races.

“If the vaccines come to Nigeria, we need to quickly do our own evaluation of that vaccine,” he said, during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. “I cannot say with 100 percent certainty that in the process of developing this vaccine, in the clinical trials, whether any African countries were involved. I’m not too sure, but it’s possible.

“Then because of the biology, because of the environment, because of our genetic composition, we need to do our own clinical trials very quickly before it can be used on Nigerians. While we do not question the efficacy and safety, the responses vary from place to place.

“Recall that when we were using chloroquine, the southern part was not responding to chloroquine, some parts of the north were. But in totality it was thought that chloroquine were no longer effective and we changed.”

President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA). Professor Innocent Ujah, appeared on Sunrise Daily on December 28, 2020.
President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA). Professor Innocent Ujah, appeared on Sunrise Daily on December 28, 2020.

 

The NMA is also seeking additional funding from the federal government as doctors continue to suffer from the deadly pandemic.

At least 20 doctors died in the past week after contracting COVID-19, according to the chairman of the NMA in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Enema Amodu.

The doctors died in the course of treating infected patients who failed to disclose their true health status, Amodu said.

“We don’t want anybody to die in the service of their country,” Ujah said. “That’s why we talk about infection prevention and control. And we believe that working with the federal government, the PTF, and the Ministry of Health, we need to continually train our health workers – doctors, nurses – and anyone who has anything to do with patients on infection prevention and control.

Why 20 Doctors Died Of COVID-19 In One Week – NMA


The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has explained how no fewer than 20 members of the union died of COVID-19 in the last one week.

NMA Chairman in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Enema Amodu, disclosed this to reporters at a briefing on Friday in Abuja.

He noted that the late medical doctors contracted the disease in the course of treating infected patients who failed to disclose their true health status.

Dr Amodu, however, called on patients visiting clinics and hospitals to declare their true health status to avoid exposing doctors and other health workers to the risk of disease infection.

He said, “For those of us in the health sector, we have lost quite a number of colleagues in the last one week alone. Across the country, we have lost not less than 20 doctors in the last one week.”

“We also want to use this opportunity to talk to our patients; as you come to us in the hospitals, in the clinics, please oblige us.

“Wear your mask. Tell us the truth about your past medical condition and don’t hold any information back,” he added.

NMA Chairman in the FCT, Dr Enema Amodu, briefs reporters in Abuja on December 25, 2020.

 

Second Wave, More Catastrophic

As more doctors and health workers are contracting COVID-19, the NMA FCT chairman appealed to the government to improve supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the medical facilities.

He also called for the provision of essential drugs in the hospitals, saying the doctors were ready to combat the second wave of the virus.

According to Dr Amodu who is an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon and consultant, it is important for patients coming to hospitals to fully disclose their health status as he once contracted the disease from an infected patient.

“I am the Chairman of NMA, FCT and by the special grace of God, I am standing here today as a survivor because I inadvertently saw a patient that I didn’t know had COVID-19 and she didn’t tell me, and she knew.

“I was exposed, I contacted the virus, I developed symptoms but by the grace of God, my colleagues rallied around me and I survived,” he revealed.

The medical doctor said, “This second wave is so overwhelming; this second wave is more catastrophic, and this probably would be because a lot of people have gone back to the way of doing things.

“They have thought that the virus is over, it has come, and it is gone, and they have let their guards down.”

Amend The Constitution To Stop Use Of Public Funds For Medical Trips, NMA Tells Senate

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate.

 

The Senate should amend the Nigerian Constitution to stop the President, governors, members of the National Assembly, and other public office holders from seeking medical treatment abroad with taxpayers’ money.

President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Innocent Ujah, stated this during an interview with Channels Television on Friday.

He granted the interview a day after the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs asked State House officials to equip the clinic at the Presidential Villa to ensure President Muhammadu Buhari would have no need to travel abroad for medical treatment.

“What the Senate is saying, in my own opinion, is purely political. It has no force of law. If they want it to have force of law, they should enact it in the Constitution; amend the Constitution and make it a law,” the NMA president said.

He added, “What we need to know is that nobody can be prevented from accessing health from anywhere in the world, but it should not be at government expenses.

“I think that is the most important thing. The second thing is that they have talked about funds for the State House clinic; that money has not been released.”

 

Professor Ujah believes the position of the lawmakers is not new as the NMA has previously called for the improvement of the nation’s health sector to discourage public office holders from embarking on medical trips abroad.

He added that if the State House clinic has been certified not good enough for the President, it should be upgraded with the provision of needed equipment and personnel.

According to the NMA president, it will be unwise to say people should not access facilities in other places, especially when such is done with personal money.

He, however, stressed the need for the government to strengthen the nation’s health system to respond to the challenges of the people, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter.

“If it is passed into law, then that will be operational because making a statement like that has no force of law,” Professor Ujah insisted.

He added, “We are saying the State House clinic is not good enough for the President to be attended to and, therefore, it is only when the place is upgraded, facilities are available, human capacity development is improved, equipment are bought, installed and functional, that we can clearly make that statement and it is not only for the President, it is for all of them, including the senators, members of the House of Representatives, and others.”

Doctors Declare Indefinite Strike In Cross River

A map of Cross River, a state in south-south Nigeria.

 

Doctors in Cross River State have declared an indefinite industrial action over the kidnap of their colleague, Dr Godwin Udo of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Dr. Innocent Abang, disclosed this on Wednesday during a telephone interview in Calabar.

Abang said that the victim was kidnapped in his residence at Bateba Street on Sunday.

“It is true that Dr. Udo has been kidnapped. In fact, we got to know about it yesterday and we are taking it up from there. His car was left at the point where he was taken away at Bateba Street in Calabar,” he said.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the kidnap to Channels Television via a telephone interview.

She said: “The police are aware that Doctor Udo has been kidnapped. Modalities are in place to see to his release.”