The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has decried the interference of some political leaders and State Governments in the mandate of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the fight against Covid-19.
In a statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Dr. Francis Faduyile and Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, respectively on Saturday, the NMA particularly condemned in strong terms the stance of Kogi and Cross River states Governments against NCDC’s advisory.
“While it would be welcome news for a ‘no-positive-case’ status in any state or FCT, every state must ensure that it is following the testing guideline issued by the NCDC.
“That way, no cases are missed, as that would seriously imperil the whole national response to controlling COVID-19 pandemic.
“NMA, therefore, appeals to the Federal Government to direct through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to investigate the claims of the two state governments in the interest of safeguarding Nigeria’s Public Health, and to recommend appropriate remedial intervention (s) if necessary to Mr President,” the association noted.
The NMA further lamented the difficulties encountered in recent days in collecting samples, transporting them in the proper media and the dearth of test kits by the Coordinating authorities.
The NMA, therefore, charged the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and the NCDC to find the fastest workable solutions to fix this challenge, including incorporating the approved private sector laboratories that already have established specimen pick up and transport modalities.
The group expressed concern that doctors and other health workers still do not have adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), and therefore, “unequivocally advised her members and other healthcare workers in the country to avoid attending to suspected or confirmed cases of COVD-19 if they do not wear the appropriate PPE in the interest of the personnel and their families, and the wider society.”
While commending the government on its recent announcement of the Special Risk Allowance and Insurance for Healthcare Workers, the NMA, “strongly demands that there should be no further delay in commencement of the payment of the announced sums or contemplation of effective date of implementation as it was of common knowledge when COVID-19 became a public health emergency in Nigeria.
“The NMA uses this medium to appeal to the Federal Government once more to call on the State governments to make public the incentives in the form of risk/hazard/inducement allowances and life insurance policies they are offering their healthcare employees.”
The NMA, therefore, called for the exemption of taxation on the newly introduced allowance for the health personnel as long as Covid-19 lasts and also advocated for the urgent complete withdrawal of the Infectious Disease Control Bill 2020 and redrafting it to remove any existing and future doubts in the people.