The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Monday condemned the attacks on health facilities, looting of medical consumables, and attacks on its members across the country.
NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, expressed the union’s displeasure in a statement in Abuja.
He said: “The NMA, as the umbrella body of Nigerian doctors and leader of the health team, condemns in an unequivocal terms this barbaric, primitive and wanton destruction of hospital facilities that is capable of endangering the health of Nigerians and have irredeemable negative impact on the health system.
“The unfortunate action of the hoodlums will further weaken the delivery of health services as Nigeria continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in an already near comatose health system and will certainly be a setback on our country’s desire to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The NMA, therefore, calls on those who are in custody of these medicaments and hospital equipment to return them either to be used or destroyed professionally because some of these medicaments can be very harmful to the human body.
“The vaccines that were carted away are meant to prevent diseases, but the action of the hoodlums may lead to resurgence of vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. We, therefore, urge all those in custody of these vaccines to return them to the health facilities for revalidation for possible use. No form of attacks on any health facility and hospital personnel is tolerated in any civilised country.
“NMA feels very embarrassed and disappointed that health workers, facilities and equipment were not secured nor protected by security agencies to forestall the monumental nationwide looting and vandalisation of government and private properties.
“We were shocked by the magnitude of the reported looting and vandalisation of health facilities, hospital equipment, vaccines, drugs and consumables as well as assaults on our members who were in the line of duty in Lagos, Ebonyi, Delta, Edo, Cross River, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Ekiti states.”