The Nigerian Medical Association on Sunday said it was disturbed by the death of medical doctors as a result of COVID-19, saying it would in January write the Federal Government on the need to train health workers in infection prevention.
The NMA President, Professor Innocent Ujah, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Makurdi, while reacting to the death of 20 medical doctors within one week as a result of COVID-19.
Ujah said this as the President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Abdulrafiu Adeniji, asked the Federal Government to ban flights from countries with new variants of COVID-19.
Also on Sunday, the team lead, the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada treatment centre, Dr Yunusa Thairu, raised the alarm that 22 coronavirus patients out of 86 on admission at various treatment centres in the Federal Capital Territory were in critical conditions.
Thairu, who called on government to assist health workers, said the 22 critically ill patients were on oxygen.
Recall that the Federal Government last week said the country had entered the second wave of coronavirus and strongly advised Nigerians to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures.
Also, following reports of a likely spread of a deadlier strain of COVID-19 from the United Kingdom and South Africa, on Thursday the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 imposed fresh requirements on passengers from the two countries.
According to the PTF, the requirements include opening of registers for passengers from the UK and South Africa.
However, there were fears on Friday when the Chairman of the FCT chapter of the NMA, Dr Enema Amodu, at a press conference, said 20 doctors across the country had died of the virus in the last one week.
Expressing concern about the death of the doctors, the NMA president, in the interview with The PUNCH, said, “Let me just say that even if it is one doctor, that died of COVID-19 in the process of providing service to the nation to prevent death, to us it is sad. No doctor should die providing services for the nation.”
Ujah said the association would write the Ministry of Health and the PTF to support the training of medical doctors.
Ujah said the medical doctors could have contracted the virus from patients they treated. This, he said, explained the insistence of the NMA that doctors must be trained in disease prevention and control.
He called on government to provide personal protective equipment, running water, soap and gloves for doctors and other health workers.
We need to train our young doctors – Association
The NMA president stated, “Let me plead that we need to be protected by having training among our people. Younger doctors are coming up and COVID-19, we don’t know when it will end or the extent it can go. The only thing we need is infection prevention and control.
“We need to contact the PTF and Ministry of Health to support our training. We need to write a proposal so that we can train doctors and health workers throughout the nation in infection prevention and control.”
When asked to be specific on when the proposal would be written, the NMA president stated, “There is holiday now, unless, there is an emergency but by the time we resume, we will do that.”
When asked if he meant January, he said, “Yes, in January we will do that.”
Ujah recalled that the association once advised government to ban flights from the UK and the United States, but the advice was not heeded.
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