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51 Days After, Resident Doctors Vow To Continue Strike

Resident Doctors

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.”

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Health

F.G Approves Establishment Of Teaching Hospital In Taraba

The establishment of a Federal teaching hospital in Taraba State has been approved by the Federal Government.

Approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the teaching hospital is to be sited at the federal university in Wukari Local Government Area of the State.

In a letter dated 26th of September 2022, the President gave the nod to the leadership of the institution to go ahead with the establishment of the health institution.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the Director of Health, Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Noah Andrew, urged the leadership of the university to make sure that all the needed facilities are in place.

“I am directed to refer to a letter dated 2nd September 2022 referenced SGF 6/T/380 from the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to inform you that His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the establishment of a federal teaching hospital for the federal University, Wukari, Taraba State”, the letter read in part.

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Health

Kaduna Enrolls 136,507 Into Health Scheme

The Kaduna state government has disclosed that it has enrolled about 136,507 poor and vulnerable population into the Kaduna State health insurance scheme.

Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), Mr Suleiman Mustapha, disclosed this in Kaduna, during a one-day Roundtable Dialogue on maternal and child health.

The Maternal and Child Health-Civil Society (MCH-CS) Partnership with support from Save the Children International organised the round table.

Mustapha said 79,329 poor and vulnerable populations were enroled for free basic health under the one per cent consolidated revenue of the state government.

According to him, the state government had so far released N1.1 billion to cover the basic health care services of the poor and vulnerable.

He also said an additional 50,648 poor and vulnerable population were enroled under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, adding that a total of N1.1 billion had also been contributed to cover their healthcare.

KADCHMA Executive Secretary , Mr Abubakar Hassan, said the agency was established in February 2018 and began provision of health services in June 2020.

According to him, the health scheme is part of the state’s human capital development and social protection strategy for all residents.

 

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Health

55,000 Die Of Rabies Annually In Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency For International Development USAID has disclosed that at least 55, 000 Nigerians die of rabies every year.

It said rabid dogs account for about 94 percent of confirmed human infections.

This was revealed by Mieko Mckay, Deputy Office Director for Health, USAID Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday during the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in Nigeria.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal of Health and Breakthrough ACTION -Nigeria and other partners ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day.

Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, represented by his deputy, Alexander Chimbaru, said there were recent cases in Gombe and Enugu States.

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