Awka – The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has revealed that it has so far lost 16 of its members to the deadly coronavirus.
The NMA President, Professor Innocent Ujah disclosed this on Thursday, during a National Executives Council Meeting of the Association held in Awka.
The event attracted the medical doctors from all 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who deliberated on how to make healthcare services in the country better.
The meeting has its theme as “Medical Doctors, Politics And Leadership In The Society: Time For A Paradigm Shift In Medical Training,” and sub theme as “Managing Mental Health In COVID-19 Depressed Economy.”
Ujah who appreciated the commitment of Nigerian Doctors in the heat of the global health emergency in ensuring that they are the forefront of the containment of the virus, said the country is blessed to have such crop of medical personnel.
He maintained that the NMA will continue to advocate for its members to live above board in their practice so as to enhance the quality of our healthcare and reduce quackery
“Medical professionalism is a set of values, behaviours and relationship that underpins the trust the public have for the doctors and this remains a focal point for the NMA. We frown at any medical and dental practitioner that acts in a way that will bring this great profession into public mockery. NMA will continue to encourage our members to adopt the patient-centred approach in clinical care. The association is also intensifying efforts at operationalising of the doctor’s stamp, another innovative strategy to stamp out quacks. This will help authenticate who is a doctor by payment of practicing fees and authority of the stamps,” he emphasized.
The NMA boss harped on the need for government at all levels and private bodies to support the Medical Doctors for improved medical service delivery across the country.
“We are appealing to policy makers to provide conducive environment for doctors and other health workers to thrive in the discharge of their duties as well as to provide the institutional and financial conditions required for health professionals to provide equitable, efficient and effective medical care to the public,” Ujah posited.
In his remarks, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, urged medical doctors to constantly embark on research activities so as to keep pace with trending medical issues and be able to develop potent medicines for contemporary infectious diseases.
Obiano while regretting that Covid-19 claimed many lives in Nigeria and world over, called on Nigerian doctors to be more proactive in sourcing vaccines for infectious diseases.
“I watch developments in developed countries and the development of vaccines for the treatment of COVID-19. Countries are evolving measures to deal with these global health threats and I wonder what is happening to us as Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. It’s funny that we are not thinking in that light and I would like to charge our medical doctors to think seriously towards research and development of potent vaccines that can address these emerging health challenges,” Obiano suggested.
While wishing them fruitful deliberations, the governor asked the meeting to enjoy the hospitality that the state offers, as the safest state in the country.
In a goodwill message, Chairman, Southeast Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe described the theme of the meeting as apt as it focuses on contemporary issue of COVID-19.
The royal father regretted that there appears to be brain drain in the country’s medical system, attributing it to very poor salaries and welfare of medical doctors as well as their poor working environment