Highlight Of Response By The Honourable Minister Of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire During The Presidential Task Force On COVID-19 Press Briefing Held On Thursday, 28th May, 2020

On Resident Doctors in Jos:
On the issue of Resident Doctors in Jos, the Dr. Ehanire explained that it is about certain period agreements which are connected with the training of doctors. Under the period, Doctors are supposed to meet certain milestones, failure to do so will lead to the exit of the doctor(s).  He however disclosed that “because of the prevailing situation that requires emergency services, options are being considered to modify existing rules that will enable the best use of all doctors and residents at hand.”  “I shall be talking to the Authorities at Jos University Teaching Hospital and also talk to the doctors concerned so as to see how to remediate it”, he said.

On Ownership of Laboratories:
With regard to Laboratories, the Honorable Minister clarified that not all the laboratories are owned by NCDC, saying that some are State owned while others are owned by private entities. “What we do is create a uniform framework (Laboratory Network) by which all laboratories relate to each other and use the same criteria and same principles and also report to each other.” He also hinted that there was an ongoing discussion with the NCDC for collaboration with the Ministry in order to create a “Laboratory Network Interconnecting,” for efficiency, sharing experiences and best practices and now the outbreak of COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to drive that further.  He added that a few States have set up their laboratories and are working together with NCDC.

On Madagascar Drugs:
On the issue of Madagascar drugs, Dr. Ehanire admitted that the herbs have been transferred to the Ministry of Health, and that the Ministry have identified some of its Agencies; NAFDAC which has collected samples, and the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research (NIPR) which is going to collect samples and the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Lagos will also receive samples.  He also stated that samples will also be sent to the Ministry of Science and Technology, “We have written them to expect samples because they also have Agencies that conduct research on Phytomedicine (Plant-based traditional medicinal practice that uses various plant) so that across the board, we would have done what the President had directed that the herbs be evaluated scientifically so that we are going to have these evaluation done across the board so that we can get the best result out of it and know what the value is, before they are given to Nigerians.”

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