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NMA offers free medical outreach to Gombe residents

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Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) over the last weekend organized a medical Outreach for a total of 1,525 patients with various medical conditions during which it offered free medical consultations, free laboratory tests as well as minor and major surgical procedures in Gombe.

The outreach was part of the activities to mark the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association held in Gombe with the theme ‘Healthcare delivery in the face off insecurity’

During the meeting, the NMA lamented that the problem of insecurity across the country needs government to quickly intervene to save Nigerians and also make it easy for people to move around and do their businesses and bring down the cost of domestic flights by bringing the cost of tickets down.

National President of NMA, Dr Uche Ujinmah noted with deep concern that health drain was increasing in every part of Nigeria due to poor infrastructure, insufficient and obsolete equipment, inadequate manpower and insecurity.

He stressed that those were the major threats affecting health care delivery in the country adding that the worsening insecurity in the country had led to the inability of patients and health workers to reach health facilities in some parts of the country thereby affecting Healthcare coverage negatively.

He further noted with dismay, the failure of Federal and state governments to effectively check security lapses particularly the ravaging incidences of kidnapping in Nigeria saying that the Health Workers have been targeted in some communities with some of them kidnapped during the discharge of their duties.

Read also:Labour opposes Nigerian govt’s plan to hands off health sector amid medical brain drain

He also said that a few of them were killed in the process due to the failure of government to protect them saying, “I call on government at all levels and security agencies to urgently do the needful in addressing this menace” .

According to him, “We warn that the precarious health indices may worsen if not checked” reiterating for the government to remember that chapter 2 section 14 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provides for the security, welfare of the people, shall be the primary purpose of government and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provision of this constitution .

The NMA President further lamented that brain drain is a major challenge in Nigeria causing serious Labour crisis in most health facilities across the country as health workers are already being overstretched with serious distortion in the already worst Doctor Patient ratio of 1-5000 in Nigeria as against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended 1-600 saying that the shortage of Doctors is currently driving the epidemic of physician burnout in Nigeria.

The NEC Also noted the negative effect of physician burnout in all aspect of medical care including lower patients satisfaction and care quality and Expressed dismay over government’s inability to address the push factors driving brain Drain.

By Yemi Kanji

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