From Gyang Bere, Jos
The National President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof Innocent Ujah, has applauded Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong for employing 40 doctors despite the harsh economy to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
He appealed for the training of more medical doctors from Plateau State to fill the gap that has continued to widen with the exodus of doctors from the country.
Prof Ujah disclosed this on Monday when he led Executive Members of the body on a courtesy call to Governor Simon Bako Lalong at the Government House Rayfield, Jos.
‘We are very excited that you recently approved the employment of over 40 doctors and many other health personnel to boost the manpower of the sector. This is in spite of the economic situation of the country and the state.
‘It is also on record that your administration has procured medical equipment for health facilities across the state and ensured that the Plateau Contributory Health Insurance Scheme and the Plateau Primary Healthcare Development Agency were established. This demonstrates your passion for healthcare delivery. We commend you and ask that you do more.’
He commended the governor for initiating the construction of mega health facilities in the three senatorial districts as well as continuing with inherited work on others which have been moribund for many years.
Governor Lalong, while responding, said he was delighted to have the NMA visit him under the leadership of Prof Ujah who though originally from Benue State, is now the son of Plateau as he has spent most part of his professional life in the state.
He congratulated the NMA leadership and assured them that his “Rescue Administration” was committed to providing qualitative and affordable healthcare to the citizens particularly at the grassroots level.
Governor Lalong said apart from ensuring that health takes priority in the Lalong Legacy project, his administration also ensured that the abandoned hospitals in Riyom, Mabudi and Kanke and others are completed so as to give the people more access to healthcare.
He explained that his administration also worked for the establishment of the Faculty of health sciences at the Plateau State University Bokkos as a way of ensuring that more health personnel are trained to increase manpower.
Lalong appreciated the medical professionals for sacrificing themselves in the fight against COVID-19 which has seen some of them infected and others losing their lives.
A minute silence was observed for those who lost their lives, even as he again called for more sensitisation among members of the public advising them to take precaution in the face of the second wave of the pandemic.
He assured them that the State Government was doing everything possible to ensure that the Plateau Health Research team led by Prof. Noel Wannang comes up with a homegrown solution to COVID-19 and other diseases.
The three drugs developed by the team he said have passed pre-clinical stage and undergoing clinical trials before approval by relevant authorities.