Health doctors in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, have suspended strike action across state hospitals to curb coronavirus spread.
The suspension of the strike was announced by the Nigerian Medical Association of the State branch in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Dr. Agam Ayuk, and Secretary, Dr Epoke Ezoke.
The statement, titled, ‘Communique issued by the Nigerian Medical Association, Cross-River State’, was issued on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, after an emergency general meeting, to appraise the issues that led to the withdrawal of medical services by the association.
The statement reads as thus; “We are most grateful to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha and the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Enahire, for the timely 17-member delegation from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) led by the Executive Director/CEO National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib that arrived Calabar on 6th July 2020, to set up a COVID-19 response strategy in Cross River State that will align with the national response.
“We deeply appreciate the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu for the activation of two (2) COVID-19 Test Centres at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar.
“We also appreciate the NMA President, Prof. I.A.O. Ujah, the National Officers’ Committee and members of NMA for their support to NMA Cross River State,” the statement read in part.
The association said it welcomes the official recognition of the five COVID-19 confirmed cases from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital by the NCDC which had resolved the lingering uncertainties negatively impacting public health and safety and had provided clarity to the COVID-19 status of Cross River State and the required response strategy.
It said, “We enjoin the Cross River State Government to keep to the resolutions of the meeting held between PTF/FMOH COVID-19 delegation, Nigerian Medical Association – Cross River State branch and the CrossRiver State Ministry of Health signed on July 7, 2020.
“The association hereby suspends the total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services in all public and private hospitals in Cross-River State with effect from today, 7th July 2020.
“We appeal to citizens of Cross River State to follow the NCDC guidelines on infection prevention and control while reinforcing our commitment to working with the Federal and State governments to contain the spread of COVID-19.”