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COVID-19: Nigerian govt cautions hospitals forcing pregnant women to pay for PPE

The Minister of Health, State, Olorunnimbe Mamora, Friday warned hospitals forcing pregnant women to pay for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to desist from it.

The minister gave the warning while fielding questions from journalists at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily press briefing in Abuja.

He described as unacceptable and condemnable such act by the hospitals, adding that government would investigate the allegations and mete out appropriate sanctions to those found culpable.

Mamora said it was illegal for states and federal hospitals to demand for PPE before treating anyone.

He said: “If that happens at all, it is a strange demand and without mincing words, I will say that it is illegal, unacceptable and of course, condemnable.

“I do not expect any treatment centre or hospital to be making such demands from patients.

“Be that as it may, we will definitely seek additional information in this regard to enable us carry out appropriate investigations, and of course take necessary actions in this regard.

“I think it is bad enough for patients to come to the hospital, and you compound the problem by making demands that are not within the ambit of what is expected.”

He added that irrespective of where this was happening, whether it was state institutions or at the federal level, the government would definitely seek intervention and do what was appropriate in the circumstance.

Earlier in his address, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said a 14-member team would leave for Kano on Saturday to support response to the outbreak in the state.

Ehanire said the team members were from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

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Others were also drawn from the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, and departments of Hospital Services and Family Health in the Federal Ministry of Health.

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