From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The National Association of Doctors in University Health Services (NADUHS) has called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, engage with relevant stakeholders for inputs, consultations and adoption of effective strategies that will ensure public safety before universities across the country resume.
The call was contained in a statement issued by Concerned Members of the association entitled, “January 18th, 2021 resumption of Nigerian Universities: An assessment of Federal Government’s level of preparedness amid COVID-19 pandemic second wave”.
The statement was signed by Dr Abiodun Amusan (South-West), Dr Musa Sheheu (South-South), Dr Hassan S Musa (North-East), Dr Ishaq Abubakar (North West), Dr Enweani Onyeka (South-East) and Dr Louis Nwakolo (North-Central)
NADUHS, an affiliate of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), complained that the Federal Government is yet to train health workers in University Health Services (UHS) preparatory to the resumption of universities and other tertiary institutions.
The group requested the Federal Government to ensure that medical doctors and other health care personnel in university health centres across the country are trained adequately before universities resume so as to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff on iniversity campuses.
The statement reads in part:
‘Members of NADUHS while offering their services acknowledge the inadequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment’s, (PPEs) and other essential medical consumables required in the discharge of their duties during the pandemic.
‘As at the time of issuing this statement Federal Government is yet to pay NADUHS members and other Health Care workers in University Health Services their COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance despite Mr President’s approval since March 2020.
‘NADUHS noted the difficulty its members are going through daily while providing medical services to members of university staff, their families, and NHIS enrollees during this pandemic without motivation, training, and adequate medical equipment’s and consumables.
‘NADUHS also observed with dismay the irregularities of our salary structure as some Universities still pay their medical personnel using CONTISS salary structure as against the approved CONMESS and CONHESS.
‘For the record, Nigerians should be informed that already positive cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in some University Health facilities with morbidities recorded. The prevention of recording more cases should be a collective responsibility of the Health Care personnel, our respective University managements, and the Federal Government of Nigeria.’
The association also urged the Federal Government to immediately pay all its members of their COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance.