The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said at least 20 doctors lost their lives to COVID-19 in the last one week.
Chairman of Federal Capital Territory branch of NMA, Enema Amodu, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
Amodu said the deceased health workers include consultants, professors and resident doctors.
He further decried the paltry sum of N5, 000 paid monthly to doctors as hazard allowance, calling on the government to ensure an upward review of their welfare packages
“Everywhere around the world at this time, we are facing a second wave, and this second wave is so overwhelming and more catastrophic because a lot of people have gone back to the way of doing things thinking that the virus is gone, and they have let their guards down,” he said.
“For those of us in the health sector, we have lost quite a number of colleagues in the last one week alone. Across the nation, we have lost professors, consultants, residents (both senior and junior), very senior medical officers and nurses – some of them you may not hear of and some you may hear about, depending on the circumstances and whatever positions they are occupying. This goes to show that this virus is very much with us and they call it a second wave, but it is actually a continuum because it never really left us.
“The number of our colleagues that have died is evolving every day but as I am standing here, I got a call from a colleague who is in an isolation centre, but was not sounding very good. I can give you a figure now that by evening, it will change. But I can tell you from the top of my head that across the country, we have lost not less than 20 doctors in the last one week.
“By the grace of God, I am standing here today as a survivor because as an ENT consultant, I inadvertently saw a patient that I did not know had COVID-19 and she did not tell me, and she knew. I was exposed and contracted the virus; I developed symptoms but by the grace of God, my colleagues rallied round me and I survived.
“Our patients need to follow the laid-down rules and we are not degrading or insulting anybody. As you enter the hospital promises, most hospitals now have facilities for you to wash your hands and ensure that you wear your mask – please comply. Also, when you sit with a doctor, ensure you keep a safe distance.
“The President of the NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah, has not rested on his oars since this pandemic broke out. I was privileged to be part of a team that went to see the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Femi Gbajabiamila. The President put forward the issue of our hazard allowance. There is no need to hide anything anymore. I can tell you that our hazard allowance is N5, 000 per month.”