Doctors urge FG to declare emergency on Lassa Fever

Medical doctors under the umbrella of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have called on the Federal Government to quickly declare a national emergency on the lassa fever.

It also asked the government to evaluate hazard allowances paid to health care workers considering the increased risks they faced in tackling diseases.

National President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, told journalists at the end of their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday, that such action would attract the needed financial and logistics attention required to contain Lassa Fever and other communicable diseases in the country.

He said: “In the past three weeks, Lassa Fever has spread to 18 states with several deaths. Some health care workers were among the casualties. We are deeply concerned about it, hence the call for the emergency because of poor preparedness of our health institutions in handling cases of Lassa Fever.

“The emergency, when declared, would help our preparedness and response in addressing cases of Lassa Fever and other relevant ailments in our various health care institutions.”

Meanwhile, he said that NEC-in-session discussed several issues that border on welfare of its members, patients and entire medical practice in the country.

He said that the NEC was unhappy with the continued physical and verbal attacks and assault on its members at different health institutions, and threatened to take unfriendly actions if the attacks continue.

He disclosed that the NEC has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure speedy payments of arrears of minimum wage, consequential salary adjustment to its members on the GIFMIS platform.

“They were particularly concerned about non-implementation of corrected salary scale of NARD members in many state tertiary health institutions and other irregularities in payment of salaries particularly the unpaid 12 months salary arrears of members at Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho (LAUTECH) in Oyo State and 14 months salary arrears being owed its members at Abia State University Teaching Hospital in Abia State,” he said.

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