The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has described the plans to bring in Chinese medical experts to help fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria as the height of insensitivity of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The NARD President, Dr Aliyu Sokomba stated this in a statement he issued on Saturday and made available to newsmen.
The Nigerian government had on Friday hinted that an 18-man Chinese team of medical experts were on their way to Nigeria to assist in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said, “I have been notified of gifts of medical supplies from China, courtesy of a group of Chinese companies working here in Nigeria. A special cargo aircraft shall leave Nigeria in a few days to collect the items which include commodities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and ventilators.”
He added, “Of great interest is that an 18-man team of medical experts, including doctors, nurses and public health advisers shall come along with the flight to assist us”.
But in its response, NARD president said, “The attempt to import Human resources for Health from China into Nigeria, where many qualified medical doctors and other cadres of health workers are yet to be gainfully employed is the height of insensitivity and disservice on the part of the Federal Government and their advisers.
“The challenge at hand would have been sufficient marker to agitate the FG to the direction and timing for massive employment of medical and other health care workers to provide enough hands in the industry to battle the COVID 19 as other nations are doing”.
Sokomba went further to say, “In the interim, NARD wishes to distance herself from the planned importation of Chinese medical experts to Nigeria in whatever guise or hood for the reasons presented in this write-up and many more.
“NARD shall not contemplate further warning to distance herself from the Chinese adventure by way of withdrawing all her members from every public health facility in Nigeria so that the anticipated downturn in the output of Nigeria’s healthcare service delivery can be properly situated and traceable to the Chinese as is the case today in Italy.
“NARD hereby reiterates her position which was canvassed earlier in the week for the FG to immediately and massively employ all qualified but unemployed doctors and other healthcare workers. Get them trained, insured, motivated and deployed nationwide”.
Many Nigerians have decried the plans to import Chinese medical experts to help in the fight against the deadly virus that emanated from China.