Nigeria

Plateau violence: Doctors suspend strike due to overwhelming emergencies

Zimbabwean doctors have filed a lawsuit aimed at compelling the government to beef up coronavirus protection for public hospitals and healthcare workers.

Worried by the increasing medical emergencies orchestrated by the recent violence in Jos and other parts of Plateau State, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Jos University Teaching Hospital branch, has recalled members to suspend the ongoing nationwide strike action “on compassionate ground” to enable them attend to the rising emergencies arising from the violence.

However, giving a more vivid picture of the situation on ground was Red Cross, Nigeria, which on Thursday called on spirited members of the public and good Samaritans to donate blood to victims of the attacks, because the state’s Specialist Hospital was in dire shortage of blood and could no longer cope with demands.

On its part, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Plateau State chapter, has also expressed concern over the rising traffic at hospitals’ emergency units and mortuaries in the aftermath of the violence, describing the situation as overwhelming.

President of NARD, JUTH branch, Dr. Nanpon Nalda, said his members, who had been on strike for the past weeks had been recalled to the hospital “on compassionate ground” to enable them attend to emergencies.

“In view of the current situation, I reached out to the NARD leadership for a compassionate waiver for ARD JUTH to attend to emergencies. The indefatigable NARD President in consultation with other NARD leadership has graciously approved this waiver for our members in JUTH to attend to emergencies arising from the ongoing crisis in Jos.

“While we call on government to live up to its responsibility of protection of lives and properties, we assure of our unwavering commitment to offering health services to them,” he said.

Also, Head, communications, Red Cross Nigeria, Mr. Mafeng Mark, in an S.O.S message to the public, urged everyone that was fit and capable to donate blood by immediately visitingthe various hospitals attending to the victims.

NMA, in a statement on Thursday by its chairman, Dr. Innocent Emmanuel, decried the current security situation in the state, where people are attacked, injured and murdered in cold blood in their homes, and their farmlands and other means of livelihoods completely destroyed, describing it as terrible.

“The Plateau State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association is saddened and disillusioned by the persistent and vicious acts of inhumanity currently ravaging the society and exerting a great toll on the physical and psychological wellbeing of the masses across the state.

“The innocent, armless, accommodating and committed citizens of the state have continued to live under the perennial unsavoury reality of perpetual terrorism manifesting as kidnappings for ransom, rape, maiming and killings as well as threats of total annihilation.

“On a daily basis, people are kidnapped from their houses and living with the fear that same will happen the next day elsewhere or in their neighbourhood unabatedly, with huge sums paid as ransom.

“This worrisome and sad turn of events is severely bleeding the resources of the people and ultimately wrecking the economy of the state in general, resulting in further increase in the sufferings that have characterised the life of ordinary citizens, who abinitio have mostly been living below, at or only slightly above the poverty line.

“The NMA frowns exceedingly at the unabating and wanton destruction, injury and killings, which are one too many. The people deserve better from their leaders as every life is indeed sacred, and the right to life, a fundamental human right of every Nigerian citizen, which should be guaranteed by the government.

“We express deep concern as the victims of these unwarranted attacks continue to populate our hospitals’ emergency wards and mortuaries,” NMA said, calling on the government and the security forces to genuinely commit themselves to doing more to prevent further incidences rather than taking reactive measures.

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