Connect with us

Health

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.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health

Lagos to convert General Hospital to eye centre

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says the state government will designate one of its general hospitals as a centre for ophthalmic specialty to improve care for patients with eye conditions.

Abayomi said this during the 4th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Africa Retina Society on Thursday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was themed, “Upscaling Retinal Services in a Resource-Constrained Economy.”

Abayomi said the centre would provide a world-class diagnostic, medical, surgical and ophthalmic services in Lagos and Nigeria.

He stressed that the state would prioritise eye health, noting that the state was working on developing screening capacity of all its primary healthcare facilities to detect eye diseases early.

“The conditions that affect the eyes very much reflect the conditions of the community in which you live. HIV, for example, was a major problem in South Africa, and I certainly experienced the impact of HIV on our day-to-day medicine and practice.

“Here in Nigeria, we have other things. We have hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell, and lots of trauma. These are the kinds of things that we see in our clinics here in Lagos and in Nigeria.

“We need to be able to understand how these prevailing conditions really affect us,” he said.

The commissioner further said that efforts are ongoing to promote eye screening, especially in schools, starting with the training of teachers to detect students exhibiting challenges with their vision.

He added that the state would leverage the social health insurance to screen, detect and treat eye diseases as patients presents at health facilities.

The commissioner further said the state would strengthen public awareness and understanding on eye health, especially glaucoma and visual acuity.

Abayomi disclosed that the state through its Ministry of Health had forged a partnership with the Chagoury Group
to develop a specialist eye hospital in Lagos to boost access to eye services.

He acknowledged that ophthalmology was equipment-intensive, stressing that government would pay attention to that and human resources to enable practitioners make appropriate diagnosis, and treatment to reverse medical tourism.

Earlier, Prof. Linda Visser, Head, Division of Ophthalmology Stellenbosch University, South Africa, called on policy makers to formulate policies that would integrate eye screening into diabetes care from the primary healthcare level, noting that cases of diabetic retinopathy was on the increase among Africans.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a chronic progressive disease of the retinal capillaries (small blood vessels) associated with prolonged raised blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.

Visser cited data from International Diabetes Foundation that showed that 537 million adults aged 20 to 79 years are living with diabetes globally, a number that was predicted to reach 1.3 billion in 50 years.

“The high prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise worldwide and is particularly rapid in low- and middle income countries.

“Most of these countries have limited availability and affordability of healthcare services for screening and treating diabetes-related complications, such as retinopathy, to prevent vision loss,”

According to her, all persons with diabetes are at risk of developing DR, however, those with poor blood glucose and blood pressure management and hyperlipidaemia are most at risk.

Visser, Past President, Vitreoretinal Society of South Africa, emphasised that early detection would lead to timely treatment of DR, which could prevent 95 per cent of vision impairment and blindness.

Also, Dr Asiwome Seneadza, Chairman, Africa Retina Society, said that the theme was timely and critical as efforts are made to navigate the complexities and challenges in delivering advanced retinal care across the continent.

Seneadza said, “That’s why we are advocating for improved diabetes care and regular retinal screening made available and accessible for every individual living with diabetes,” he said.

Similarly, Prof. Bassey Fiebai, Chairman, Vitreo Retinal Society of Nigeria, said the meeting was critical to proffering solutions to the challenge of offering standard retina care, improving outcomes and reducing visual loss from retina related disorders among low to medium income countries.

Fiebai said that the government plays a critical role in providing funding, training of personnel, provision of equipment to improve screening, detection and treatment of retinopathy disease.

The professor noted that retina specialists are few in Nigeria, placing the figure at about 100, stressing that it was inadequate to cater to the teeming population who require eye care.

“Right now in the country, we have just a little over 100 retina specialists. And we know that the population of Nigeria is about 230 million.

“So we’re looking at a situation in which one retina specialist is supposed to cater for 2.3 million people. How does anyone cope?” she queried.

NAN reports that the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Africa Retina Society which began on June 26 to June 28, had participants from various African countries brainstorm on enhancing retinal care.

(NAN)

Continue Reading

Health

Cholera outbreak: Tinubu sets up presidential committee to oversee emergency operation centre

President Bola Tinubu has directed the setting up of a presidential committee to oversee the Cholera Emergency Operation Centre, operated by the National Centre For Disease Control.

The Minister of Health, Ali Pate, made this known on Tuesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Tinubu at the State House, Abuja.

He added that the committee’s effort is in addition to state government support to ensure Nigeria makes progress in reducing open defecation.

“The Council then approved a cabinet committee comprising the federal ministries of Health, Finance,Water Resources, Environment, Youth, Aviation, Education because some of our children will be returning to school . In addition to this, the state government, we will co-opt, so that Nigeria makes progress in reducing open defecation because cholera is a developmental issue that requires a multi-sectoral approach.

“The President directed that a cabinet committee be set up to oversee what the emergency operation centre led by NCDC is doing and for the resources to be provided complemented by the state government,” he said.

Pate further disclosed: “At the moment about 31 states have recorded 1528 cases and 53 deaths in Nigeria. That is what we are working through the Emergency Operation Centre that was activated by NCDC on Monday.

“Now we have a cholera outbreak and we discussed extensively in the Council in addition to a new emergence of Yellow Fever specifically in Bayelsa State.

“On cholera we are in the middle of the 7th pandemic globally which is decades in the making. In 2022, the world had almost 500,000 cases of cholera so it is not only peculiar to Nigeria. In 2023 almost 700,000 cases of cholera were reported by the World Health Organization.

“This year more than 200,000 cases have occurred in five regions of the World.”

He emphasised that a multi sectoral approach is required to tackle the outbreak .

“Resources were deployed to 21 states to help them respond to cholera. We are improving awareness of population, handwashing, hygiene sanitation, in addition to treatment with drugs, and intravenous fluids,” he added.

Continue Reading

Health

NCDC reports 1,598 cases of cholera across the country

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has reported 1,598 suspected cases of cholera across 107 local government areas.

The cholera outbreak is characterised by a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels.

Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in regions with inadequate sanitation and clean water access.

Understanding the transmission mechanism of cholera is crucial to curbing its spread and implementing effective prevention measures.

Idris said: “Government is deeply concerned about the rapid spread and higher-than-expected mortality rate, indicating a more lethal outbreak.”

He emphasised that the fatalities represented significant personal losses, including those of family members, spouses, parents and healthcare workers.

“This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” he added.

He disclosed that Lagos State accounted for the highest number of deaths with 29, followed by Rivers with eight, Abia and Delta with four each, Katsina with three, Bayelsa with two and Kano, Nasarawa and Cross River with one each.

He added: “This alarming trend highlights the urgent need for coordinated response to prevent further escalation of the crisis. Sixteen states accounted for 90 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Lagos being the epicentre of the outbreak. Lagos State, having the highest number of cases, has received significant focus, with ongoing support and resources directed to manage the outbreak effectively.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending