By Ovie Okpare
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has lamented the growing insecurity especially attacks and kidnap of medical practitioners in the South-South region.
NMA, while particularly frowning at the incessant attacks and kidnap of doctors by hoodlums in Cross River State, said the situation should be urgently tackled.
In a statement signed by Dr Nwose Emmanuel and Dr Okoacha Innocent, the Chairman and Secretary, NMA South-South Zone, on Sunday, it noted that the situation could hamper the smooth delivery of healthcare in the region if not checked.
This was part of resolutions reached at the NMA Zonal Executive Council meeting held November 18-20th, 2020 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
It, however, called on state governments in the region to urgently rise up to ensuring that the lives of medical practitioners are protected from further attacks.
The South South NMA also decried the attacks on doctors and private hospitals in the region especially in Rivers State by hoodlums who reportedly hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protests.
According to the statement, “Among the issues discussed was the grave insecurity situation in the region, which is hampering smooth healthcare delivery in the South South zone.
“The association is deeply concerned about incessant targeted kidnap of medical practitioners and their relations.
“The association also expressed displeasure on the targeted attacks on doctors and private hospitals by hoodlums during the EndSARS protest, especially in Rivers state.
“Arising from the meeting, NMA South South zone, condemn in strong terms the targeted kidnap of Doctors in Cross River state as well as attacks on Doctors and private clinics in Rivers state.”
The statement called on the Rivers State Government and Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to take steps aimed at assisting them in the huge lost suffered during the attacks.
“The South South zone of the NMA strongly identifies with her members in Cross River state, and is in full support of all actions taken to bring this ugly development of incessant kidnap of doctors to an end.
“We call on the Cross River state government and other governments in the region to give this issue the attention it deserves and put measures in place to forestall future occurrence, so that our members can go back to work in a conducive environment.
“The zone condemns the attacks on Doctors and private hospitals during the EndSARS protest in Rivers state. If not checked, this action will only dampen the already bruised morale of Doctors, who risk their lives to attend to people even in times of crisis.
“We call on the Rivers state government to do a good assessment of the damage done and compensate the Doctors and private clinics accordingly.
“We also call on Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to look into the incidents in Rivers state and take the necessary measures to assist the Doctors”, NMA in the statement further added.