Doctors in Rivers State are worried, as the number of deaths caused by the consumption of locally brewed gin known as Ogogoro has now reached 66.
The Ministry of Health in the State gave the new figures on Friday, days after the first death was recorded.
The Ministry noted that deaths have so far been recorded in Obio Akpor, Bonny and Gokana Local Government Areas.
The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) in a press briefing in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State’s capital, has step up stringent measures that will curtail the production and distribution of what the group called a deadly poison.
The National President of NARD, Prince Dan-Jumbo, at the press briefing urged State governments that are yet to pay their members monthly salaries form 5-7 months to do so.
According to him, Oyo, Osun, Benue, Nassarawa, Imo, Abia and Lagos State are owing 2013 and 2014 months salaries while and Rivers State had two months outstanding.
Meanwhile, the level of compliance to the ban on the sale of the local gin is still in question, as some peddlers of the product are still sighted on the street.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has pleaded with the Nigerian government to lift the embargo on employment of its members that has been on for over three years.
On Tuesday, the doctors expressed displeasure with the embargo placed on the employment of its members in both the State and Federal Government Hospitals.
The plea was made by the National President of the Group, Prince Dan-Jumbo at a brief in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in Rivers State.
Apparently worried by the state of affairs in the Health Sector, the NARD President queried the personnel funds that run into billions released to the Federal Ministry of Health when resident Doctors are not being employed, calling on the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, to look into the plight of the Health Workers and residency programmes in the country, to avert any possible crisis in the sector.
The group (NARD) also frowned at the non payment of the wages of its members in Kogi, Benue, Edo and Lagos States, appealing to the various State Governments to fulfill their obligations to the Doctors and to take health matters more seriously.