The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Cross River chapter has embarked on an indefinite strike and withdrawn its services from all medical facilities in the state.
The doctors made this known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, from the state chairman of the association, Agam Ayuk, on Sunday, July 5, 2020.
The doctors demanded explanations from the NCDC on why the five confirmed cases from the University College Teaching Hospital, Calabar, have not reflected in its daily update of COVID-19.
“The association demands explanation from NCDC why the five COVID-19 confirmed cases from UCTH carried out at the NCDC accredited Molecular Laboratory at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, have not reflected in the daily situation report of NCDC long after results had been transmitted to UCTH since July 1, 2020. Congress demands update of the NCDC situation report as a matter of urgent public health interest.
“Congress demands explanations from NCDC why epidemiology code numbers have to be generated by Cross River State Ministry of Health before results of samples sent by UCTH to an NCDC approved molecular laboratory can be published by NCDC, despite having approved UCTH as an independent test centre.
“The NCDC is put on notice that the Cross River State Government have abdicated her responsibility of contact tracing, treatment and care for the five confirmed cases which may not be unconnected with the delay in publication of the results by NCDC. Congress demands the immediate activation of Adiabo Isolation Centre and commencement of surveillance and contact tracing in the state.
“Congress demands explanation from NCDC, why, despite several complaints of compromised testing in the state, investigations have not commenced on the unethical activities carried out by Cross River State COVID-19 Task Force.”
The doctors also passed a vote of no confidence on the Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, over alleged unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state.
“The association passed a vote of no confidence on the Honorable Commissioner for Health – Dr. Betta Edu, and further referred her to the NMA National Disciplinary Committee and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for the unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state, thus putting lives at risk and bringing the association to disrepute.
“Arising from the meeting, all members of Nigerian Medical Association Cross River State branch in public and private hospitals have embarked on a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services until NCDC and the state Ministry of Health give urgent and prompt attention to the issues raised.”
Cross River is the only state in Nigeria where no single case of coronavirus has been officially confirmed.
KanyiDaily recalls that Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello was also accused of frustrating medical efforts to test patients, who have coronavirus symptoms in his state.