By Ibrahim Oyewale
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State chapter, has called on the federal government, through its various organs to urgently address the demands of the Joint Action Congress (JAC) of Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Lokoja to save the state health sector from collapsing.
A statement signed by the state Chairman of NMA, Dr. Kabiru Zubair, yesterday in Lokoja, also enjoined the federal government to intervene and resolve the issues between the Kogi State Government and NCDC to enable mutual peace in the management of COVID-19 in the state.
The JAC FMC Lokoja, comprising all various unions and professional associations, including Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and others, had on July 1, 2020, embarked on industrial action after the hospital was invaded by hoodlums.
The JAC members embarked on the indefinite strike citing threat to their lives among others.
‘’It is now one week since July 1, 2020, when FMC Lokoja was closed down following its invasion by yet-to-be-identified hoodlums, who breached the hospital security, destroyed property and essential materials, and went away with some.
“NMA is calling on the federal and state government to take decisive steps in bringing the perpetrators of the hospital invasion to justice, ensuring adequate security for the staff of the hospital, and providing NCDC certified testing facility within the centre, while also making available adequate
‘’Since this unfortunate incidence in the only federal tertiary hospital in the state, which caters for most of the complicated medical conditions, the JAC of the hospital has been on industrial action, citing threat to life among others.
‘’Prior to this incidence, the JAC of the hospital had earlier planned a peaceful protest within the hospital premises to be held that day which was later shelved.
‘’The protest was deemed necessary because of the challenges being faced in the management of the COVID-19 infection in the state which bothers mainly on transparency in the testing process, lack of testing in most instances, provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and lack of proper isolation and treatment of suspected cases in the centre as well as delay or outright failed response from the state management team,” the group said.