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Resident doctors give FG three-week strike notice

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Members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have given a three-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet their demands or face their wrath.

The National President of NARD, Dr. Sokomba Aliyu, gave the ultimatum at a news conference on Saturday in Abuja.

The news conference was called to read a communiqué issued by the association after its six-day virtual National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and scientific conference, held in Gombe recently.

Aliyu told the Federal Government and the National Assembly to investigate what was responsible for the non-enrollment of health care workers in the group life assurance scheme for medical workers.

He also called for the probing of non-payment of death benefits to next of kins of their fallen colleagues, “in spite of claims of payment to insurance companies for the purpose.”

Aliyu said that the association had noted the initial intervention of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Insurance in addressing the non-payment and non-enrollment of resident doctors in the life assurance scheme, which according to him has now been abandoned.

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The unionist also demanded immediate and unconditional reinstatement of suspended executives of the association at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), led by Dr. Solomon Amadi.

“NEC notes with dismay the continued administrative rascality and victimization of its members by the Chief Medical Director of (UPTH), Prof. Henry Ugboma.

“We frown at the suspension of resident doctors, who also double as the legitimate executive council officers of the Association of Resident Doctors in UPTH.”

Aliyu also called for immediate removal of Ugboma for alleged fraud, administrative rascality, unnecessary onslaught, victimization, and abuse of office.

According to him, the association also demands payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance to its members.

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He noted that the association was disappointed that the COVID-19 hazard allowance payment was started only to be abandoned abruptly when NARD suspended its strike.

“NARD demands immediate implementation and funding of the Medical Residency Training Act as agreed.’’

Aliyu said the association also noted with dismay, the non-payment of the salary shortfall for 2014 to 2016, in spite of promises by several stakeholders to intervene, which led to the suspension of the strike.

“NEC demands immediate payment of the arrears and the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage owed some doctors.

“NARD calls on state governments to implement the Medical Residency Training Act and to ensure adequate remuneration of health workers

“Although the medical residency training funding has been captured in the revised 2020 budget and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the implementation of the funding is yet to commence.”

MORE READING!  Salary deduction: Bauchi health workers commence indefinite strike

Aliyu called for the provision of needed facilities to various hospitals, including supplies of personal protective equipment and funding of tertiary health institutions nationwide.

“We demand that various hospitals should be provided with the funds they need to run their services and ensure adequate healthcare delivery for the populace.

“NEC has resolved to extend the suspension of our strike by three weeks to give the government time to address our demands, failure of which will leave us with no choice other than to resume the suspended strike on Aug. 17.

The theme of the NEC meeting attended virtually by over 200 members nationwide was: “Targeted Violence against Health Care Workers in Nigeria’s Health Care Facilities: Effects on Health Care Service Delivery.”

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Salary deduction: Bauchi health workers commence indefinite strike

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Bauchi State Health workers under the Joint Health Sector Union and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (JOHESU) have commenced an indefinite strike.

This is due to deductions made from their salaries.

The Secretary of the Bauchi chapter, Usman Danturaki in a statement to all branch Chairmen and Secretaries, Medical and Health Workers’ Union in the State, directed all health works to commence the industrial action from 12am on Thursday.

MORE READING!  Salary deduction: Bauchi health workers commence indefinite strike

According to Danturaki, the action is due to the unilateral deductions of the workers’ June salaries by the state government.

You are hereby directed to commence an indefinite strike action from 12.00 am of Thursday, 6th August 2020 until further directed,” he said.

Details later…

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COVID-19: Price of hydroxychloroquine skyrockets in Nigeria

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The price of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has skyrocketed in Nigeria, according to the government’s consumer protection body.

There’s been widespread interest in hydroxychloroquine as both a preventative measure and for treating patients with coronavirus but the World Health Organization (WHO) says the drug doesn’t reduce death rates in patients with coronavirus.

Despite the lack of evidence, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s audit of prices across the country has observed an astonishing rise in the drug’s price in the last four months.

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It found that – a packet of 60 tablets selling for N3,000 ($8; £6) four months ago – could be on sale in pharmacies for as much as N75,000 ($194;£ 147) now.

In a letter published on their Twitter account, the body described “excessive and unconscionable pricing”.

It added that “unreasonable, unjust and irrational prices or margins are a criminal offence” in Nigeria.

MORE READING!  COVID-19: Price of hydroxychloroquine skyrockets in Nigeria

Promotion by leading political figures such as US President Donald Trump has led to both hydroxychloroquine, and the related drug chloroquine, becoming the subject of widespread speculation online about their potential benefits and harmful effects.

This has led to high demand for the drugs and global supply shortages.

But despite some early studies raising hopes, one subsequent larger-scale trial has shown it’s not effective as a treatment and the WHO has halted its trials.

MORE READING!  COVID-19: Price of hydroxychloroquine skyrockets in Nigeria
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Positive cases drop by 2,000 in July – FG

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Osagie Ehanire,

Nigeria recorded less than 2,000 positive cases in July, the Federal Government has disclosed.

It further stated the number of testing carried out across the country increased by 40,000 in just one month.

A total of 287,532 COVID-19 tests have been carried out so far in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made these known during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

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He also said the Federal Government plans to reduce the deaths from the pandemic to less than one per cent.

The Federal Government also plans to expand sample collection to rural areas by setting set up at least one COVID-19 sample collection site in every Local Government Area (LGA) with designated holding rooms at General hospitals for patients with significant clinical symptoms.

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Ehanire said this will ensure patients are not turned back at hospitals.

The Minister asked health workers not to fret on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);

“As we are reasonably well stocked with materials and commodities, which have been supplied to all sections of the country.”

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