Covid-19: NMA kicks against FG’s plan to import Chinese doctors

…Allied Health Professionals advises FG to halt plan

By Hassan Zaggi

The Nigeria Medical Association has expressed shock over federal government’s plan to bring in Chinese doctors to assist in the fight against Covid-19 in Nigeria.

It however, vowed to withdraw it services if the government continues with the decision to bring in the Chinese doctors.

In a statement signed by its President, Dr. Francis A. Faduyile, the NMA said: “ We are therefore profoundly dismayed to learn that the Federal Government is instead inviting the Chinese who from available accounts are not out of the woods themselves. The spike in cases and the death toll from COVID -19 in Italy coincided with the arrival of the Chinese in the guise of offering assistance. Even the United Nations has only just recently commended the efforts of Nigeria so far.

“The NMA would loathe reviewing her participation in the fight against COVID-19 considering the grave implications and the risk to the lives of her members should the Government go ahead with this ill-thought-out invitation at this time.”

The NMA, however, advised the federal government to, instead of inviting Chinese doctors, review and approve better welfare and incentives to frontline medical personnel.

“The provision of adequate personal protective equipment, opening and properly equipping more isolation centres and health facilities across the country is an excellent first step. Deploying more resources to facilitate testing as we are beginning to witness community transmission of COVID 19 is equally a better application of scarce resources.

“The Government should declare a state of emergency in the Health sector and use the opportunity to fix our health institutions as a matter of urgency in a bid to stem the rot.

“The NMA urges the Government to expand the Presidential Task Force to include other critical stakeholders including journalists and the civil society to ensure more robust engagement especially as the decisions of the task force has implications for the health, wealth and security of our country.

“It is a great disservice to the morale of the long-suffering frontline health workforce if the Government goes ahead to invite these Chinese doctors. The invitation demeans their sacrifices so far in this pandemic. We fail to see how the 18 man team would impact the current efforts in any significant way.

“The Association, however, expects that the Government would rescind the decision in the overall interest of the country,” the statement reiterated.

While expressing its commitment to the Nigerian people and the Government, the NMA passed a vote of confidence on the frontline health workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that “we expect reciprocal trust from the Government.”

Put plan on hold, Allied Health Professionals advice FG

The Nigerian Union of Allied Professionals have condemned in strong terms the plan by the Federal Government to bring Chinese medical doctors to support in the fight against Covid-19.

In a statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Dr. Ogbonna Chimela Obinna and Egbanubi Martin Adekunle, respectively, the group urged the federal government to put the plan on hold “in the midst of the controversies surrounding China’s involvement in the Covid-19.”

The statement reads: “The Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals totally condemn the move by the federal government in her new plan to invite the Chinese medical doctors into Nigeria.
“The questions to ask are; have they found the cure?; what experience are they coming to impact that our health care Professionals have not been using?

“We handled bird flu, Lassa fever, Ebola diseases ourselves without the invitation of any foreign based experts. It’s not even ideal now that the entire world is suspecting China in the complexities of this covid-19.

“How are we sure that these Chinese doctors are not coming in with the muted strain of the coronavirus which may be genetically more harmful to the black race?
“The Union, therefore, strongly advice the federal government to tread softly on this matter. It is better to put this plan on hold in the midst of the controversies surrounding China’s involvement in the covid-19.”

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