Declare Emergency On Violence Against Healthcare Workers, NWA President, Enabulele, Urges Nigerian Govt
…Urges Managers Of Health Institutions To Improve Security Architecture In Their Health Facilities
The President, World Medical Association,WMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has called on the Nigerian government and managers of health institutions in the country to declare an emergency on the rising tide of violence against healthcare workers in Nigeria.
The WMA President made the call while delivering a Guest Lecture at the opening ceremony of the 63rd Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) held on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at the Catholic event centre in Jalingo, Taraba State.
In his lecture titled “Violence Against Healthcare Workers in Nigeria: The Way Forward,” the WMA President decried the rising cases of violence against healthcare workers in Nigeria, which he put at a prevalence of 10-60% compared to the global prevalence of 8-38%.
Dr. Enabulele expressed great worry that despite the tremendous efforts being made by physicians and other health professionals to deliver health care services to the people, they were still being violently assaulted in their workplaces, particularly in the emergency care units, primary care clinics, wards and psychiatric units of hospitals in Nigeria.
While identifying verbal abuse, physical assault, and kidnapping as common forms of violence against healthcare workers, he affirmed that the perpetrators of violence against healthcare workers were mostly the relatives of patients, patients themselves, co-workers, and kidnappers.
READ ALSO: NMA, NERD, Others React To UK Restriction Of Doctors’ Migration
While expressing dismay at the absence of a violence prevention protocol in most healthcare facilities in Nigeria, the WMA President identified issues of long waiting time, increased workload and inadequate supply of equipment, poor communication and negative attitude by some health workers, patient’s history of violent behaviour, and dissatisfaction with the care given, as some of the factors responsible for the rising cases of violence against healthcare workers.
In his recommendations on how to stem the tide of violence in the health sector, Dr. Enabulele called on government at all levels to declare it as an emergency and adopt a zero-tolerance policy on violence in the health sector.
He further called on governments to move speedily towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage, just as he charged them to address the Social Determinants of Health and resolve all existing health inequities.
He equally called on governments to improve the funding of the health system as well as their investments in the well-being, security, safety, and working conditions of physicians and other health professionals.
READ ALSO: WMA President Calls For Quick Address Of Mental Health, Burn Out In Health Sector
He implored governments, law enforcement agencies, health institutions, and health professional associations like the NMA, to always ensure that every case of violence against a healthcare worker is prosecuted to its logical conclusion.
He urged the managers of health institutions to improve the security architecture in their health facilities, develop violence prevention protocols, enhance patient experience, and build the capacity of their health personnel, amongst other suggested measures.
Declaring the conference open, the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku, thanked the NMA for hosting the conference in Taraba State, and informed participants of his government’s efforts to advance healthcare delivery in the state.
While urging physicians and other healthcare workers to remain faithful to their duties, he commended them for their contributions to healthcare delivery and national development.
Earlier, his welcome address, the President of NMA, Dr. Uche Ojinmah welcomed participants and invited guests to the opening ceremony and expressed delight at its hosting by the Taraba State branch of the association.
READ ALSO: World Doctors Slam Reps Over Mandatory Service Bill
Other dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony were His Royal Majesty, Manu Ishaku Adda, the Aku Uka of Wukari, who was the Royal father of the day, the Taraba State Commissioner of Health, the Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (Dr.T.A.B Sanusi), amongst other dignitaries.
From the conference, the WMA President paid a surprise visit to his alma mater, Federal Government College,Wukari, where he interacted with the School’s Principal,Staff and Students.
The WMA President is a 1988 graduate of Federal Government College, Wukari, Taraba State.
JUST IN: Health Workers Begin Indefinite Strike
The Joint Health Sector Unions and the Assembly of Health Care Professional Association have directed their members to embark on an indefinite strike.
The National Vice President of JOHESU, Dr Obinna Ogbonna said this at a press briefing held in Abuja on Thursday.
JOHESU is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations, including the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, and Senior Staff Association of Universities’ Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions.
The leadership of JOHESU had in a letter dated May 9, 2023, issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over alleged inconsistencies of the government in the ongoing negotiations to adjust the Consolidated Health Salary Structure for health workers on their platforms.
READ ALSO: Patients Groan As Doctors’ Strike Enters Day 2
The 15-day ultimatum commenced on May 10, 2023, and will expire at midnight on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
Obinna said, “It becomes imperative to inform you that since the Federal Government is yet to meet these demands, our members have been directed by the JOHESU National Executive Council to proceed on an indefinite strike action upon expiration of the ultimatum by midnight of May 25, 2023.”
BREAKING: Trouble Looms As FG Declares Doctors’ Strike Illegal, To Implement No-work-no-pay
The Federal Government has warned members of the National Association of Resident Doctors to shelve their planned five-day warning strike, describing it as illegal.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, issued the warning today shortly after receiving a letter from the NARD executive notifying him of the impending industrial action, billed to commence midnight today, May 16, 2023
Reacting to the letter, dated May 16, 2023 and delivered to his office at about 5pm same day, Ngige said on receiving the letter, he contacted the Minister of Health, who informed him that a meeting has been scheduled by his office with the resident doctors on Wednesday, May 17.
He therefore advised the doctors to avail themselves of the opportunity for social dialogue with their employer, rather than embark on a warning strike, which is unknown to the law.
READ ALSO: Diaspora Health Workers Petition NASS Over Bill To Stop Doctors’ Migration
He said, “I will advise them to attend the meeting with the Minister of Health tomorrow. I will also advise them very strongly not to go on five-day warning strike. There is nothing like warning strike. A strike is a strike.
“If they want to take that risk, the options are there. It is their decision. They have the right to strike. You cannot deny them that right. But their employer has another right under Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, to withhold their pay for those five days.
“So, if the NARD has strike funds to pay their members for those five days, no problem. The Health Minister will instruct the teaching hospitals to employ adhoc people for those five days and they will use the money of the people who went on strike to pay the adhoc doctors. That is the ILO principles at decent work, especially for those rendering essential services. Lives should be protected. One of my sons is a resident doctor. I will advise him to go to work and sign the attendance register. The people seen at work are the ones to receive their pay. If you don’t work, there will be no pay.”
Commenting on the five demands of the doctors, Ngige said the Federal Government lacks the powers to compel the states to domesticate the Medical Residency Training Fund, since health is in the residual list, where both the federal and state governments have the powers to legislate.
READ ALSO: World Doctors Slam Reps Over Mandatory Service Bill
According to him, the job of the Federal Government is to make policy and where the states disagree, they are at liberty to make their own policy.
He added that the federal government cannot bully the states into domesticating the MRTF if they do not want to.
Regarding the issue of immediate payment of the MRTF to their members, he said it was appropriated in the 2023 budget, but has not been released, as the 2022 budget was still running, adding that those in 2022 have all been paid.
He denied the claim by NARD that the Federal Government did not pay minimum wage consequential adjustment arrears to their members, saying that all workers in the Education and Health Sectors, and even the defence agencies benefited from the adjustment.
He noted that the doctors cannot declare nationwide strike because some states were owing their members, pointing out that the federal government cannot also dabble into the issue, being a state matter.
READ ALSO: NMA, NERD, Others React To UK Restriction Of Doctors’ Migration
Similarly, he said the Federal Government as the Executive arm of government cannot intervene in the bill at the National Assembly to bond doctors for five years, as it is a private member’s bill.
According to him, any intervention by the executive on the matter impinges on the autonomy and independence of the legislative arm of government.
Ngige said although the bill has passed through first and second reading, he was sure it would be shot down at the public hearing, since the law prohibits forced labour.
He advised the doctors not to talk about 200 percent pay rise, as it was not feasible, adding that “besides all the government has done for doctors and other workers in the health sector, such as upward review of hazard allowances, the Nigeria Medical Association was already negotiating with the Federal Ministry of Health, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the Presidential Committee on Salaries on pay rise for doctors.
“It is incongruous for student doctors to embark on strike when consultants training them were already negotiating with the Federal Government.”
UBTH @50: Management, Staff, Patients Embark On 5km Walk To Promote Preventive Health Care
Management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), on Monday, organised a 5 kilometer Walk as a way of promoting preventive health care among Nigerians.
Speaking during the Fitness Walk, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, Chief Medical Director, UBTH, said that walking, as a form of exercise, had proven to help prevent a lot of diseases ranging from hypertension, diabetes and some cancers.
Obaseki, while speaking to journalists shortly after the walk tagged “Walk for Life,” said the event was part of activities to celebrate the hospital’s 50th anniversary.
He said, “Engaging in different forms of exercise helps to keep the body fit and healthy.
READ ALSO: UBTH ENT H&N Dept Marks World Hearing Day, Reiterates Commitment To Quality Service Delivery
“The walk for life is a way to sensitize the public on the benefit of walking and how walking helps in preventing numerous diseases.
“The first step in health care is disease prevention, hence we are creating awareness about the need to exercise always”.
He said that most patients visited the hospital for curative purposes, noting that healthy living which involved regular exercise was key to disease prevention.
“One of the dangers of modern day style of living is the sedentary life style. So many persons sit in their offices from morning to night without exercising their bodies.
“Once you are fit and have the right weight, a lot of diseases can be prevented”, he said.
Speaking to traders at Uselu market, Dr Taiwo Oyewumi, Head of Physiotherapy department, UBTH, regretted that only a few per cent of Nigerians engage in regular exercises.
READ ALSO: Golden Jubilee: Free Training, Cancer Screening, Subsidized Surgeries Outlined To Celebrate UBTH @50
Oyewumi said, “Exercise is the cheapest way to stay healthy, and it is recommended that an individual does about 7,000 steps a day for healthy living.
“People who do exercise don’t fall ill often. Doing exercises makes you sleep well, improves brain function, and reduces bad cholesterol and hypertension.
“Exercise at less 10 to 15 minutes a day because exercise is good for your health”
The 5km walk started from UBTH premises at Ugbowo through Uselu market and back to UBTH premises.
Participants included UBTH board members, staff, students, patients and their families, fitness enthusiasts, journalists and other members of the public.
Police Dismiss Sergeant Over N98,000 Extortion
Activists, Politicians Protest As Boyfriend Stabs, Beats 16-yr-old Girlfriend To Death
Ondo Farmer Bags 21 Years Jail Term For robbery
Communal Clash Claims Seven, Injures Scores In Delta
BREAKING: COVID-19 Heath Workers Block Hospital Management Board’s Entrance, Demand Payment Of Allowances In Edo
Edo Guber: ‘Oshiomhole’s Triumphant Entry Has Left You In Trauma, Demoralised,’ APC Mocks PDP
Metro4 days ago
Gunmen Abduct Imo Catholic Priest Returning From Funeral
Politics1 week ago
Tinubu, Shetima, APC kick As Tribunal Moves To Consolidate Petitions Against Presidential Election
News4 days ago
Buhari To Address Nigerians 7am Sunday
News5 days ago
May 29 Inauguration: FG Declares Monday Public Holiday
Entertainment5 days ago
Why I Refused To Perform At Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Concert – Portable
Politics6 days ago
Ex-presidential Candidate Fined N40m For Trying To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration
News6 days ago
JUST IN: Reps Grill Malami Over $2.4bn Illegal Oil Sale
Opinion1 week ago
OPINION: Buhari’s Dance To The Grove