By Joyce Remi- Babayeju
As Nigerian doctors mark the 2020 Physicians’ Week, the Nigerian Association of Medical Doctors, NMA, have called for full release of the Abuja Declaration 15% health budget allocation commitment by the Nigerian government.
The NMA President, Professor Innocent Ujah made this call at a conference to Mark the 2020 Physicians’ Week in Lagos.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic in the last eight months in the country has highlighted the urgent need for the full release of 15% health budget allocation in the 2020 budget instead of the 4.16% released.
According to the NMA the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has further revealed acute storages of critical and life saving equipment such as ventilator and intensive care beds in hospitals.
“Dire shortages of medical capacity has further out a spotlight on the poor state of the healthcare in Nigeria.”
The association further noted that there are still some gaps to be covered to ensure that health care is affordable and accessible to all citizens for Universal Health Coverage, UHC, to be achieved.
The NMA said that 16 doctors as front line healthcare workers have so far died since the COVID-19 appeared in Nigeria while performing their duties.
” As at 18th October 2020, 1,031 doctors who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria and 321 confirmed cases, sadly 16 ( mortality rate of 4.98%) of our members were painfully lost in the battle to save the lives of Nigerian. “
The 2020 Physicians’ Week is marked by a weeklong of activities to celebrate members for contributing to effective health service delivery and health research in the country and also to use the opportunity to review events in the sector in the last 12 months.
This year’s celebration with the theme: ” Strategy for health system recovery during COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria” with the sub theme : “Dental cares, thee four -printed fork”, is in line with the prevailing COVID-19 ravaging Nigeria and the other countries.