By Abdulmumin Murtala – Kano
Nigerian doctors, under the auspices of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA has on Wednesday debunked claims that 70 per cent of their members have absconded their duties in Kano State.
It could be recalled that on Monday, a Public Affairs analyst, Muhammed Jamo informed the Press in Kano that about 70 per cent of medical doctors in the state have absconded and abandoned their duty posts for fear of coronavirus disease due to lack of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE.
He added that the state government had failed to stay up to its billing in the fight against the spread of the virus in the state.
Addressing newsmen in Kano on Wednesday, the Chairman of the NMA, Kano State branch, Dr Sunusi Bala, described the remark as false and unfounded.
According to him, the remark was deliberately fabricated to logically cause confusion and sabotage against the efforts of the doctors in their position as front liners in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
The NMA Chairman wondered how Mr Jamo came up with the figure without coming on the ground to assess the situation based on empirical evidence.
“NMA has stood to rubbish the claim because it did not have a clue as to how and where Mr Jamo got the statistics of the Doctors that abandoned their duties in Kano Hospitals.
“We didn’t know how he came up with this statistic. No empirical evidence of his notion. By mere observation about the services in hospitals, one can never come up with these statistics because there has been a lot of changes.
”Medical services have been streamlined in hospital services in the wake of this coronavirus outbreak. It is not business as usual. Now, patients can’t come directly to see doctors, that is why some protocols had been put in place to avoid contracting and spreading coronavirus among the public,” Mr Bala said
The chairman also pointed out that due to the outbreak of the virus in the state, hospital authorities had to come up with some measures to protect the frontline doctors against being infected and check the spread of the disease among the people.
He explained that at some units, outpatients have to undergo screening before they see a doctor during clinical, noting that the measure was strict to check the spread of coronavirus in the state.
He noted that the number of outpatients and clinics have reduced at hospitals as part of measures to protect both health workers and the patients against the pandemic.
“That is why one could queue at some units of a hospital because the outpatients must undergo screening before they see a doctor. A lot of protocol have been out in place in a bid to contain the spread of the virus among people.
“The number of outpatients has reduced and the number of clinics also reduced. We are doing this as a measure yo protect ourselves and avoid replica of what is happening abroad where a lot of frontline health workers have contracted coronavirus.
”If we are grounded by this disease so the situation would be put off. We are taking a risk to do this job without even appreciable rumination like developed countries,” he said
The Chairman also attributed the low turnout of outpatients to the lockdown being imposed on the state, stressing that the doctors need to be appreciated as most of them come to the world against their wish of their families due to the fear of Coronavirus.
He urged the public to desist from making comments capable of discouraging and demoralizing the health workers in the state.