Members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors have asked the National Assembly to enact laws that will ban government officials from seeking healthcare overseas.
NARD President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, stated this on Thursday while speaking on PUNCH Live interview programme.
He said until the legislature makes a law restricting government officials from medical tourism, the much-desired improvement in the health sector in Nigeria will not be achieved.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that resident doctors all over the country embarked on strike on Thursday morning despite the Federal Government’s last-minute efforts to stop the action.
Amongst other things, the doctors want their four-month salaries paid, as well as other allowances and demands met.
The doctors are on strike at a time when the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is in London for medical check-up.
When asked why the government has not been taking the challenges of Nigeria’s health sector seriously, the NARD president said, “It has not been taken seriously because they have the money to fly abroad. Let me be blunt, our number one person just flew abroad to do medical check-up, going in search of best global practices.
“If you check the amount of money that we put into medical tourism, and put such money down in our hospitals here, you don’t need to travel.
“In most of the hospitals we have now, you barely can have good medical care because the basic necessities are more like luxuries and they are not available in the hospitals. So, why won’t they travel out? That is the question we must ask the government.
“If an embargo is placed on them from seeking healthcare outside, it will help in making the hospital services work inside. Until when that is done, we are going to achieve nothing. That was why during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, most of them who did not travel were able to go back into the health sector.
“I wish there can be laws making government officials stay in Nigeria and seek healthcare here. Until that is done, we won’t have improvement.”
Take Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, UNICEF to Nigerians
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged those who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Astrazeneca vaccine, to take second dose for stronger immunity against the virus.
Mrs Elizabeth Onitolo, UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Specialists, made the call in Yola on Wednesday at a three-day media dialogue on Immunisation, Post-polio Certification and COVID-19 Vaccination.
The programme was organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF.
Onitolo urged those who were vaccinated to also observe the protocols to safeguard other people from the virus.
She said that there was need for people to get vaccinated and continue to abide by the protocols to curtail the spread of the virus.
Also, Mrs Lilian Okeke, Team Lead, African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in Adamawa, said the vaccine was provided to save lives and not to harm anyone.
“Our concern is to save lives, you need to take those preventive measures to save your live and others,“ Okeke said.
She advised pregnant women to consult their doctors for medical advice before receiving such vaccine.
40,000 Residents in FCT Have taken COVID-19 Vaccination – Iwot
Acting Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Primary Healthcare Board (FPHB), Dr. Nda-Eyo Iwot, has announced that over 40,000 persons, living in the FCT have received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Iwot who disclosed this to journalists while monitoring the vaccination of FCT lawmakers, said the figure is part of the one million doses so far inoculated nationwide.
While speaking on the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Secretary urged the residents to ignore conspiracy theories and fake news being pushed on social media, adding that no known adverse effect of the vaccine has been recorded.
He further explained that two of the five cases being spread around are not directly linked to the vaccine.
He also commended the law makers for publicly taking the vaccine.
BREAKING: Doctors suspend nationwide strike
Resident doctors have suspended their nationwide strike after 10 days.
Their president, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, told The PUNCH on Saturday.
He said, “We suspended the strike about one hour ago. We are responsible to Nigerians, the government has acceded to some demands.”
Read Also: Wike bans meeting of Igbo group in Rivers
According to him, the strike was suspended after meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
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