A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Help Africans Charity Network (HACN), has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria, to as a matter of urgency, resolve issues surrounding the industrial actions embarked upon by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors.
The doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike on July 26, 2023, following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum they issued to the government to meet their demands.
They are demanding the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers; the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges; the immediate payment of all salary arrears; the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure; a new hazard allowance; and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act; among others.
Bearing in mind the effects of the strike actions on patients, especially pregnant women, if prolonged, the humanitarian organisation, led by the chief executive Officer, Mr Owen Obakpolo, visited some hospitals within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the weekend, for an outreach to pregnant women and nursing mothers in the hospitals.
Addressing newsmen, Obakpolo said most hospitals visited in Abuja City Centre, especially those owned by government were either running skeletal services or in total shut down due to Doctors’ strikes.
“The essence of our visit is to give nursing mothers and pregnant women a sense of belonging in the face of the harsh economic situation of the country.
“We have visited a couple of hospitals in the City Centre and I kid you not, the situation is terrible,” he said.
Obakpolo said his NGO, which began its operations in Australia, aims to add its quota to help in reducing poverty in Africa, by continuously reaching out to the people in the society, like it has done in Liberia, Kenya and some states in Nigeria.
On her part, Mrs Stella Adejo, the FCT coordinator of the NGO, advised pregnant women to adhere strictly to instructions from their nurses and doctors during antenatal, urging them to observe exclusive breastfeeding especially, during the first six months of life.
One of the pregnant women who also benefited from the outreach, Mrs Hilda Adebayo, said that the government could do more to improve the health sector because it has all the necessary resources to make things better.