By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has urged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to ensure the inclusion of rural hospital visitation in the Residency Training Programme for doctors in Nigeria.
Ngige stated this at Alor Health Centre, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State while flagging off the 2020 edition of the free medical outreach programme of his foundation, Senator Chris Ngige Foundation, in collaboration with NARD.
A statement issued by Ngige media office in Abuja yesterday quoted the minister as appealing to the doctors to make it possible for people in the rural areas to have good medical system.
According to him, “There are 1, 000 health centres like this (Alor Health Centre) in Nigeria that have been rebuilt and furnished but nobody is operating in them. I am one of those who said you can arrange for medical doctors to go to those rural health centres, either they are living there or they are just visiting. You must have a way of visiting every community.”
The former state governor noted that by doing so, NARD must have created a reputation for itself, mostly now that it has gotten the funds and everything needed for the medical training.
“Let the curricular change so that doctors would be going to the rural areas to do what we can call an elective period, whether it is three months on every visitation. Let us make rural posting a mandatory part of the residency training programme because there are cases that cannot come to the teaching hospitals, because they cannot afford it,”Ngige said.
He enjoined the new leadership of NARD to take frontline action in this direction, “so that there would be something to remember them for.”
Ngige said he is extending the free medical outreach beyond his hometown, Alor, to neighbouring communities-Abatete, Oraukwu, Ideani and Nnobi, among others.
He said those with ailments like hepatitis, eye problems among others, should take advantage of the outreach to receive adequate medical treatment, adding that 16 doctors from different fields would handle the cases at the health centres.
Earlier, the First Vice President of NARD, Dr. Arome Christopher Adejo, paid glowing tribute to the minister for making the free medical outreach possible.
Adejo noted that the outreach would be very beneficial, especially for those suffering from eye diseases, who would undergo operation.