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Zulum suspends doctors, medical staff of Borno hospital

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Zulum suspends doctors, medical staff of Borno hospital

Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum, on Monday suspended medical doctors and the entire staff of the Ngala General Hospital for abandoning it.

According to him, the entire hospital staff has also abandoned patients to International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) operating in Ngala council.

Spokesman to Governor, Isa Gusau Wednesday in Maiduguri disclosed: “Zulum has suspended all paid staff, including resident medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians of the hospital in Ngala town.

The suspension followed Zulum’s unscheduled visit to find out the state of healthcare delivery services to the people.

“After Zulum’s unscheduled visit last Monday; he had discovered that the entire staff, had despite receiving government salaries, abandoned the hospital to an INGO,” said Gusau.

He said that the INGO (fhi360) is currently attending to hundreds of patients, comprising most of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities.

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READ ALSO: Boko Haram : Army kills three commanders, others in Borno

Ngala, a border town with Cameroon, was severally attacked by Boko Haram with loss of many lives and property.

The insurgency affected town; is a council headquarters within an international land route into Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and Central Africa.

According to him, the Army, however, liberated Gambouru/Ngala from Boko Haram terrorists in 2015.

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With the liberation of the border community, Ngala is currently populated of thousands of returnees.

“Many residents of Gambouru/Ngala are IDPs, who were forced to flee their villages and farmlands during decade long insurgency,” he said; noting that most of the IDPs are indigenes of council border areas.

While lamenting on hospital abandonment, he said: “The Governor was disappointed to find out that despite high turnout of patients, not one of the many government-paid staff, from doctors down to clerical staff, was at the hospital by 11 am.

“Instead, Zulum was received on arrival Monday, by a field Coordinator of fhi360, the INGO managing the abandoned Ngala hospital.”

“Unfortunately there is no single government staff here to attend to all these patients, and we promptly pay all of them salaries.

“These humanitarian workers from the INGO (fhi360) are supposed to complement the State Government staff and not to completely take over the hospital.

“I am directing Borno State Hospitals Management Board, if there is any staff on the payroll of this Hospital, to immediately suspend all the workers.

“I will be back to this hospital, hoping to see the opposite of what I saw today.”

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JUST IN: Fire guts World Trade Centre, Abuja

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World Trade Centre, Abuja

Fire on Monday gutted a section of the World Trade Centre building located in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

An eyewitness told The PUNCH that the fire started from the top of the skyscraper which dots the skyline of Central Business District, Abuja.

First responders including firefighters have since been drafted to the incident scene.

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Since it began in 1939 in New York, United States, the World Trade Centre brand has since become global trade hubs in more than 90 countries including Nigeria.

 

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Doctors begin three-day warning strike

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Resident doctors

Doctors under the aegis of the Medical Guild in Lagos State are to begin three days warning strike from today over issues that affect their safety and welfare.

The Medical Guild is the Association of Medical Doctors in the employ of the Lagos State Government.

The Chairman of the Guild, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, who addressed reporters yesterday in Lagos, said the strike, which would run till July 16, would exempt members working in the state’s COVID-19 isolation centres.

He said Congress of the Guild on June 27 extended the two weeks ultimatum to the state government, after expiration of its initial 21 days ultimatum to resolve the issues.

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The guild leader noted that the grace period was given to the government to meet 70 per cent of the doctors’ demands in order to avert the strike.

He, however, said the Council, after its meeting on July 11, observed that some of the demands were unresolved by the government.

According to him, wage disparity between the Federal and Lagos State doctors is not being given necessary attention by the state government.

“The issue of COVID-19 hazard allowances and inducement allowances Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Federal Government to the doctors has not been approved by the Lagos Government to her doctors.

“Doctors working in COVID-19 isolation centres are still being owed two months salaries, which has remained unpaid at the moment.

“They are also being unceremoniously disengaged without recourse to their welfare,” he said.

The chairman stressed that the issue of doctors getting infected and re-infected on a daily basis was not getting the required attention from the government.

“Our members are putting themselves on the line daily to provide care, and we need to do everything to protect our colleagues,” Sodipo said.

He said adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), prompt testing of health workers and insurance should be provided. Sodipo added that issues of shortage of doctors in health facilities have yet to be resolved with no visible substantive action taken by the government to resolve it.

“The congress will reconvene after the three days warning strike to review the progress made and plan for further actions.

“We call on the Lagos State Government to do all within its power to resolve the impasse,” he said.

Also, Dr Babajide Saheed, former chairman of the Guild, said that the government could still avert the strike within 24 hours if the needful was done.

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma sells $8.2 bn worth shares, stake dips to 4.8%

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd co-founder Jack Ma has cut his stake in the company over the past year to 4.8 per cent from 6.2 per cent, cashing out around 8.2 billion dollars at its current share price, the firm’s annual filing released on Friday showed.

The divestment comes as Jack retired as the Chinese e-commerce company’s executive chairman in September and pulled back from formal business roles to focus on philanthropy.

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Alibaba did not disclose the average selling price of his divestment.

Its share price has risen around 40 per cent since jack reported his 6.2 per cent holding in the company a year ago.

The stock’s stellar performance has been helped by forecast-beating earnings growth, even as China’s economy sharply slows, as more people shop online for essentials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company over the same period, to 1.6 per cent from 2.2 per cent.

The offloaded shares were worth 3.3 billion dollars as of Friday.

Both Jack and Joseph have been steadily less involved in Alibaba’s regular operations since Daniel Zhang was announced as Ma’s successor as company chairman.

He assumed that role formally in September 2019.

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Throughout this year, the two have donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) via their individual charity arms to hospitals worldwide to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

An April 2019 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Jack would plan to sell up to 21 million shares within one year to support his philanthropic efforts.

 

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