As the dreaded Monkey Pox Virus continue to spread across Nigeria, the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has called on the Federal Government to institute more rigorous and continuous surveillance systems as well as strict international health travel measures to curtain spread of the disease.
The medical body while lamenting threat to life and properties in the country stress the need for government at all levels do the needful in addressing the menac.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its 2022 National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Gombe State and jointly signed by the President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah and the Secretary-General, Dr. Jide Onyekwelu, the NMA warned that the already precarious health indices may worsen if left unchecked
The body demanded that government should prioritise the security and welfare of the people in accordance with the provisions in the country’s constitution.
Quoting Section 14(2) (b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), which states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution, they observed with concern that the worsening insecurity in the country has led to the inability of both patients and health workers to reach health facilities in some parts of the country.
It further noted with dismay, the failure of both Federal and State Governments to effectively check security lapses and the ravaging incidence of kidnappings in Nigeria.
“The health workers have been targeted in some communities with some of them kidnapped during the discharge of their duties and a few of them killed by gunmen. “
Observing with deep concern increasing health threats in every part of Nigeria, the NMA further stated that with monkeypox and other diseases, there was a need for the Federal government to improve international cooperation and data sharing, rebuild public health infrastructure to prevent and control vector-borne and zoonotic diseases.
They said the federal government should institute multidisciplinary collaboration using the “One Health” approach for prompt diagnosis and treatment; conduct primarily as well as translational research in the management of infectious diseases, conduct regular training and re-training of health personnel and strengthen evidence-based timely informed decision-making in order to detect, treat, contain, and control infectious diseases.
Lamenting the country’s poor healthcare infrastructure, insufficient and obsolete equipment, and human resource shortage, among others, they said lack of human resources, poor remuneration of health workers, brain-drain, inadequate funding of the health sector, abuse of referral system, inter-professional rivalry and insecurity, were the major threats to effective healthcare delivery in our country.
On hazard allowance, the NEC resolved to continue the engagement using every lawful means to ensure the payment of the newly approved Hazard Allowance within the next two months.
It further urged all its members to be part of the installation ceremony of Dr. Osahon Enabulele as President of the World Medical Association (WMA) in Berlin, Germany and also called on Federal and State Governments to support the event by sending high powered Delegations and also extending support to the Nigerian Medical Association to be able to sponsor many of her members to attend this epoch-making event.