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51 Days After, Resident Doctors Vow To Continue Strike

51 days after, resident doctors vow to continue strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors has insisted that it will not call off its ongoing strike until its demands are met.

The association said this despite the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire’s meeting with its leadership on Monday.

Theharmattannews learnt that Monday was the first time Ehanire was meeting the leadership of NARD without the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, since the strike started 51 days ago.

Before now, Ngige has been the one spearheading meetings with representatives of NARD in a bid to end the strike.

The Secretary General of NARD, Dr Jerry Isogun, confirmed the meeting with Ehanire in an interview on Tuesday.

Isogun said, “The minister (Ehanire) met with us for the first time on Monday, without the presence of the minister of labour and employment.

“He spoke to us and explained some things to us and said he was working really hard to make sure that issues were resolved.

“We also shared our grievances with him. He listened and he said he would get back to us and make sure that everything is resolved.”

When asked if the association had faith in Ehanire and if the strike would be called off immediately, the NARD secretary said, “Of course, we trust him and we believe he is going to do as he promised.

“Like I said, that was the first time he was meeting us and he had promised to get back. Though he didn’t say when he would do so.

“It doesn’t mean we are calling off the strike immediately. Our position still holds. Pay us our money and rectify all the outstanding issues and then strike will be called off.”

The NARD declared the strike action on July 30 at its National Executive Council meeting with the theme ‘The Nigerian doctor, an endangered species: grappling with a pandemic, poor workplace infrastructure and security threats.’

Announcing that the action would begin on August 2 after the meeting held in Umuahia, Abia State, the National President of NARD, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, cited the failure of the Federal Government to implement the agreements it signed with the union 113 days after it suspended the previous strike as the reason for the fresh strike.

Some of the demands include the migration of doctors from the GIFMIS (the government integrated financial management system) platform to the IPPIS (Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System) platform, review of hazard allowance, inconsistency in payment of salaries, death allowances for members of the association who died during COVID-19.

In a related development, members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday lamented that public hospitals in the country had been deserted  because of the strike by NARD.

The House  Committee on Health Institutions led by Pascal Obi raised this concern when the committee visited the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta,  as part of its oversight functions.

The House committee toured the medical centre and visited projects such as  the isolation centre, the intensive care unit and the molecular laboratory.

Obi urged doctors and the  Federal Government to embrace compromise so as to make healthcare accessible to the masses.

He said, “On the issue of the strike by the resident doctors, the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction and the court will definitely do justice to it, but I am calling for compromise both from the side of the Federal Government and the side of the union of the doctors who are on strike.”

“This is what should be done in the interest of the patients because now, the hospitals have all been deserted.  The resident doctors are the ones doing most of the jobs in the hospitals.”

Health

NAFDAC bans sale of Dex Luxury bar soap in Nigeria

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, (NAFDAC) has placed a ban on the sale of Dex Luxury bar soap in Nigeria.

The agency explained that the ban was due to Butyphenyl Methylpropional, BMHCA, content in the product.

This was contained in a post on the Agency’s X handle on Thursday.

According to the post, the European Union, EU, banned the product due to the risk of harming the reproductive system of users, causing harm to the health of the unborn child, and cause skin sensitization.

“Although this product is not on the NAFDAC database, importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers are advised to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale, and use of the above-mentioned product”, the agency added.

 

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Health

No outbreak of Lassa fever in any local govt- Kogi Govt

Nigeria identifies three drugs for Lassa fever treatment

Kogi State Government has debunked any outbreak of Lassa fever across the 21 local government areas of the State.

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Abdulazeez Adams Adeiza while reacting to a viral video of an alleged lassa fever outbreak, noted that a student who was admitted to the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja did not die of lassa fever.

According to the Commissioner, it was reported that the student died of hemorrhagic fever.

The Commissioner explained that the deceased student who was admitted at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja presented complaints of fever and bleeding from the gum.

He added that the patient was being investigated and managed, while samples were taken and sent to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) Abuja, but before the result was released, he had lost his life.

The Commissioner said the result came out to be negative for lassa fever.

In his words, ”the suspected case has turned out to be negative for lassa fever.

“It is not only lassa fever that can make a patient to present bleeding from the gum. Other reasons could include blood dyscrasias and bleeding disorders”.

He advised members of the public to disregard the report as no case of lassa fever has been reported in the state

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Health

UCH workers directed to stop working by 4pm over continuous blackout

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) which is the umbrella body of unions at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo state, has directed all employees of the health institution to commence work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Tuesday, April 2. 

The directive came after the tertiary health institution was disconnected by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, (IBEDC) over N495 million debt accrued in over six years.

Addressing newsmen, chairman of JAC, Oludayo Olabampe stated that it is no longer safe to continue to attend to patients under the circumstances. He also said that workers would embark on strike if power is not restored.

He said;

“Workers would now work from 8 am to 4 pm only because it is dangerous and risky to attend to patients in that situation. We held a meeting with the management this morning but the issue is that there is no electricity. So, from today, Tuesday, April 2, we will work until 4 p.m. We are not attending to any patient after 4 p.m.

“This means that we won’t admit patients because the nurses that will take care of them will not be available after 4 p.m. and you don’t expect patients to be on their own from 4 p.m. till 8 a.m. the following day.

“If patients need blood tests, the lab will not work, if they need radiography, the radiographers will not work, and the dieticians in charge of their food too will not work after 4 p.m. We also gave management another 14-day ultimatum which started counting from March 27, and if after 14 days power is not restored, we will embark on warning strike.”

Commenting on the development, the chief medical director of UCH, Jesse Otegbayo, alleged that IBEDC was billing the hospital as an industry. He stated that the union did not formally notify management before making such a decision.

He said;

“I have not heard about that, if they are going to do that, they should write to management officially, and then the management will respond. There are rules that govern government service, you can’t just decide what hours you work and expect to be paid full-time.

“If they go ahead to do that without informing management officially, management has a way of applying the rules to pay them for the number of hours which they worked. The proper thing is for them to put it in writing because they didn’t write officially to the management before taking the decision.”

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