Flood: NMA urges States, FG to take proactive steps

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Sunday urged State and Federal Governments to activate emergency preparedness against the impending flood.

The President of NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah made the call while addressing newsmen at the end of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Owerri between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of this year’s NEC meeting is “Healthcare System in a Depressed Economy.”

NAN reports that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had said that some States are likely to be flooded following the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.

The States include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi and Anambra.

“The State governments, especially those in flood prone areas, should be proactive, desilt their drainages, and remove barricades on flood plains.

“We also advise Nigerians living in or close to low lands to move to higher grounds, while pleading with governments at all levels to assist these our fellow citizens in relocating,” Ojinmah said.

He also called on State and federal governments to quickly roll out palliatives for Nigerians to cushion the harsh effects of ravaging inflation with the attendant high food prices.

“We believe that between June and September, the palliative should have been rolled out.

“We insist that these palliatives should go to Nigerians and no longer a case of being stored in different warehouses,” he stressed.

He noted that the country’s economic base, which he claimed was not strong enough to withstand capital flight, was fanning the embers of medical brain drain.

“NEC calls on the government to ramp up efforts at stamping out widespread insecurity in our country as a panacea for economic recovery and mitigation of medical brain drain.

“NEC thanks the Federal Government for the recent upward review of our consolidated medical salary structure, but we wish to point out that the agreement that was implemented from June 1 for upward review was finalised on May 25, which preceded the fuel subsidy removal and attendant escalation of inflation.

“NEC has directed her national officers to send our dear government a new demand for upward review of allowances while eagerly awaiting the review of minimum wage and consequential adjustment which we call on the government to implement seamlessly,” he added.

Ojinmah commended President Bola Tinubu for “the huge confidence he has reposed in the medical profession by populating his Federal Executive Council (FEC) with medical professionals.”

He also congratulated all doctors appointed into FEC and all officers in appointive positions, especially the Minister of Health, Prof. Mohammed Pate, and the Minister of state for Health.

The NMA President expressed confidence that the association’s ambassadors at the Federal Executive Council will excel.

He called on other healthcare professionals to sheath their swords, saying that the association under his leadership was keen in building a progressive consensus for a better health sector.

Ojinmah expressed the gratitude of the association to Katsina, Osun, Sokoto and Cross River state governors for being doctor friendly and also improving the welfare of their health workers in their states.

He particularly commended Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo for “hosting of the NEC meeting and for graciously attending the opening ceremony with almost all the entire state executive council.”

“NEC directed the NMA Cross Rivers state to sustain the demand for the release of our abducted colleague, Dr Ekanem Ephraim.

“We call on the Government of Cross Rivers State to redouble her efforts towards securing the release of our colleague who has been in captivity for more than one month.

“We plead with the abductors to have mercy on the grandmother and release her; she has committed no offence other than staying back in the country to take care of the citizens,” Ojinmah pleaded.

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