NIGERIA is facing the prospect of an accelerated health crisis over the coming weeks after its doctors threatened to down tools and embark on an indefinite strike in response to the way the government is handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently Africa’s third most infected country behind South Africa and Egypt, Nigeria has 9,855 of coronavirus, of which 273 persons have died. However, the figures are still rising and the government is struggling to come to grips with the crisis as the easing of the lockdown is leading to a spread of the virus.
Health professionals across the country are unhappy with the approach the government has adopted, claiming not enough equipment has been provided. Yesterday, the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (Nard) gave the federal government a 14-day ultimatum to immediately implement agreements reached or risk an indefinite strike.
After holding its 2020 ordinary general meeting (OGM) in Bauchi, the Nard also protested the harassment of its members by the security forces as they go about trying to combat the pandemic. Nard president Dr Sokomba Aliyu, lamented the harassment and maltreatment of some of its members in Lagos, Kaduna States and the Federal Capital Territory in the cause of performing their professional activities.
Dr Aliyu said: “We hereby give the government a 14 days ultimatum to meet all of our demands to avoid an indefinite and total strike by the resident doctors across the country. All doctors sacked in Plateau be recalled immediately and that Kaduna government reinstate the cut salaries of workers.
“Nard is also requesting for the supply of personal protective equipment and other consumables to all health facilities across the country with adequate and maximum protection.”