PRESS RELEASES (209)

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire has disclosed that the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development {NIPRD) has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics from Madagascar.  “The initial report had showed that its main ingredient is the same as Artemisia anua, while the preparation at high dose showed activity in reducing the frequency of cough, it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against COVID-19. However, we shall continue to support all genuine efforts towards finding local COVID 19 cures.

The Honourable Minister disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing held on Monday, 23rd July, 2020. He revealed that the ThisDay Dome Isolation Center has finally started admitting COVID 19 cases. “It is the most comprehensive of our treatment centers, fully equipped to treat mild, severe and even critical COVID-19 cases. It has ventilators, oxygen concentrators and even dialysis machines.

On behalf of His Excellency, President Muhamadu Buhari, I again express appreciation to the CACOVID group who set up the Center and the CBN, who is providing hospitality to staff and patients; personnel will be deployed from the FCT to join the expert team from the specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, who have been assigned to ensure smooth take-off and mentor a critical mass of health workers to operate the Centre.” Continuing, the Minister advised that Nigerians should eat healthy foods in order to have the right nutrients in these uncertain times, to enable them build their immune system and to strengthen their capacity to resist infections with foods like fruits, vegetable and vitamins.

The Minister concluded by reminding Nigerians that though COVID-19 may have the same symptoms like fever with malaria but COVID-19 IS not malaria.  “However, symptoms like cough, sore throat, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell, difficulty in breathing, headache, and less commonly, diarrhea, body pain, catarrh, shivering, fatigue, especially when several symptoms occur together, are suggestive of COVID-19; a test is required, please call your State hotline or visit a sample collection center, which can be found on the NCDC website”, he stated.




Grace Anyanwu
For: Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

 

The Honourable Minister of Health,  Dr. Osagie Ehanire has come out to say  that the Madagascar herbal drugs has to proved not to be able to cure COVID-19 but could be effective in the treatment of cough.  According to him, although the administration of the herbal mixture at high dose proved it can reduce the frequency of cough, it lacks evidence to prove that it can cure COVID-19.  He expatiated further: “The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics from Madagascar. The initial report had showed that its main ingredient is the same as Artemisia anua.  While the administration at high dose showed activity in reducing the frequency of cough, it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against COVID-19.”

Dr. Ehanire made this known at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing of Thursday, 22nd July, 2020, in Abuja. The Minister has however, assured of FG’s continued   support for all genuine efforts towards finding local COVID-19 cures.

Advising Nigerians and in particular the Muslim faithful on the forth coming Sallah celebration, Dr. Ehanire urged everyone not to forget the precautions that have been prescribed, so as to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. “All over the world, mass gatherings have been linked with the mass infections and casualties in other countries, which we see in the media each day, and which we are trying to avoid, in order not to overwhelm the capacity of our health system.

“Since the risk of crowding cannot be ruled out in places of worship and pose a serious hazard for COVID-19 transmission, it is very wise that persons over 60 years, the obese and those in treatment for hypertension, diabetes, cancer, HIV, etc, or have had a transplant, should stay at home and  pray at home. “I also strongly advise that travel be avoided in this period, except for a critical reason”, he said.

The Honourable Minister of Health went further to advise that “From what we know of COVID-19 so far, we cannot reduce infection rate significantly without adhering to public health advisories such as appropriate wearing of face masks, physical distancing and avoiding crowded places.  He also urged citizens to imbibe the habit of including fruits and vegetables in their food in order to get the necessary nutrients that will ensure best chances to build immunity and strengthen capacity to resist infections.



Blessing Egbo
For: Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed that all States of the Federation, including the FCT will receive support to the tune of NGN100 Million each through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project to boost their response activities in the fight against the global pandemic, adding that the soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.

Dr. Ehanire made this known at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing of Thursday, 22nd July, 2020, in Abuja. In his words “I am pleased to mention that all States of the Federation, including the FCT are receiving support from the COVID-19 response through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project.  With this support, all States of the Federation will receive NGN100 Million to enhance high impact priority response activities.  The soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.”

The Minister also revealed that the COVID-19 cases recorded daily over the past weeks now fluctuate within the 500 to 700 bracket, with 543 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed in Nigeria so far to 38,344, of which 15,815 were successfully treated and discharged. “We have regrettably recorded 813 fatalities, mostly with co-morbidities and tested a total of 247,825 persons in all”, he said.

Dr. Ehanaire expressed concern over the spike in community transmission, as according to him, “We can rightly assume from the exponentially increasing numbers, that the pool of potentially infectious persons in the community, is rising and with that, the risk of infection for citizens at all levels of society, since a very significant number of persons testing positive is not in observation or treatment.”

The Honourable Minister however commended persons of influence in society, who tested positive for COVID-19 and came out publicly to declare it and entrust themselves to prescribed treatment saying “They do us a world of good by showing that there is no shame and nothing to hide about COVID-19, and they also contribute immensely to building confidence in the Health System.” While commending health care providers for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19, the Minister emphasized on the need to focus on prevention, saying, it is “better and cheaper than cure.”

Commenting on some of the symptoms that present or confuse COVID-19 for malaria, the Minister stated that although COVID-19 could present with symptoms like fever, similar to malaria, COVID-19 is not malaria.  “Symptoms like cough, sore throat, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell, especially when several symptoms occur together, are suggestive of COVID-19.  “A test is required”, he advised.

Further, Dr. Ehanire informed that Tuesday, 21st July was the reporting day of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on Covid-19, when the leadership of the Ministry of Health's Agencies and Departments received the second report from the Chairman, Prof. Tomori.  He reported that their findings were highly instructive and will be shared with the Agencies, the PTF and stakeholders.

The Minister also informed that the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigerian Center for Disease Control now has a total of 59 molecular diagnostic laboratories for COVID-19 test activated and with a little improvement in logistics, adding that lack of availability of testing capacity should no longer be an excuse.



Blessing Egbo
For: Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has stated that the pool of potentially infectious persons in the community is rising and with that, the risk of infection for citizens at all levels of society, since a very significance number of persons testing positive are not in observation or treatment.  With that, the Minister commended persons of influence who admitted to having been infected saying “I must commend persons of influence in the society, who tested positive for COVID-19 and came out publicly to declare it and entrust themselves to prescribed treatment.  They do us a world of good by showing that there is no shame and nothing to hide about COVID 19, and they also contribute immensely to building confidence in the Health System.”

The Honourable Minister was addressing the nation through the Media at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing held on Monday, 23rd July, 2020. Dr. Ehanire informed that the Ministry of Health has rededicated itself to doing everything possible to ensure that citizens get the best of treatment and are well taken care of. “I have received good testimony about some of our health institutions, like University of Lagos Teaching Hospital and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.  I commend the CMDs and urge them to strive even higher for others to emulate.  Nigeria expects more of all our health institutions”, he said.

The Minister further reiterated that that the focus of the Health Team is still on prevention, being better and cheaper than cure.  “From what we know of COVID-19 so far, we cannot reduce infection rate significantly without adhering to public health advisories such as appropriate wearing of facemasks, physical distancing and avoiding crowded places, to avoid the exponential infection rate that sustains COVID-19.  If we accordingly take responsibility, we save lives, including our loved ones.  The evidence on the side of wearing a mask to protect yourself and others is now incontrovertible, we should all comply”, he stated.

Speaking further, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed that the COVID-19 cases recorded daily in the past weeks fluctuates within 500 to 700 with 543 new cases that sprang up within 24 hours bringing the total no of tested samples in the country to 247,825 of which 34,344 are confirmed COVID-19 positive cases while 15,815 have been treated and discharged with 813 fatalities recorded.

The Minister revealed that the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Center for Disease Control now has a total of 59 molecular diagnostic laboratories for COVID 19 test activated with a little improvement in logistics, stating that lack of availability of testing capacity should not be a tenable excuse anymore.

Continuing, Dr. Ehanire expressed gratitude that “I am pleased to mention that all States of the Federation, including the FCT are receiving support from COVID 19 response through the Regional Disease Surveillance Enhancement {REDISSE) Project. With this support, each of the States of the Federation including FCT will receive NGN100 Million to enhance high impact priority response activities. The soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.”

The Minister informed that the High Commissioner of India led a delegation of The High Commission to the Federal Ministry of Health on Friday, 17thJuly, 2020 to make a donation of 7 tons of essential medicines and commodities to support the Nigeria Government’s effort at combating the COVID 19 pandemic.  “We thank the Government and people of India for the gesture.  I also use this opportunity to express our appreciation once again to our partners who have continued to stand by us.”




Grace Anyanwu
For: Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has expressed appreciation for the contributions made by individuals and organizations in form of donations of Medicines, Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPEs), which include masks, test kits etc to the Federal Ministry of Health for the containment of COVID-19.

Dr. Ehanire expressed the appreciation on behalf of the Federal Government when a delegation of Samsung and MTN Nigeria led by Adetunji Taiwo, head of Mobile Samsung West Africa visited him to make “donations of 500 units of Samsung Galaxy A2 Core Smartphone to the Government of Nigeria for data capturing and case reporting at the Isolation Centers nationwide and for general communication with the partnering MTN providing free SIM Cards and 2GB of data every month for 6 months for these devices.”    Adetunji Taiwo reading further from a message from Caden Yu, the MD of Samsung West Africa, meant to be delivered on the occasion: “We are dedicating our resources to help so that we can emerge stronger together. Let’s stay safe”

The Honourable Minister of Health said daily, he sat with his team to receive situation reports from every level – States, Local Governments, Treatment Centres to see how to review treatments of COVID-19 patients and that part of the challenges they face in doing so, is the challenge of communication, dta reporting, etc.  He therefore revealed that the donation by Samsung and MTN of the sets, SIM Cards and data “comes in useful.”  He therefore expressed appreciation and desired this appreciation to be sent to the headship of Samsung and MTN wherever they are that “Nigeria is very grateful” pledging that “we shall make the best use” of the items and integrating them to whatever that we have to improve service delivery.

Dr. Ehanire told his visitors and donors that his team is “trying to reduce the rate of infection and improve service delivery so that “we are able to keep our fatality rate lower than what we have in other countries.”  He revealed that right now, Nigeria has 2.2% fatality rate while other countries are 4%, 5%.  We hope that we can keep these fatalities lower with adequate messaging and appropriate information dissemination; and of course, the technical aspect of carrying out testing, isolation, treatment, etc; all of these data-driven and getting the entire system working smoother.”

The Honourable Minister thereafter gave directive to the Directors of Planning, Research and Statistics (and Permanent Secretary Designate), and the Director, Hospital Services of the Federal Ministry of Health who were present at the event to get going with fashioning out the strategy for the deployment of the donated equipment.




Signed:
Olujimi Oyetomi,
Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed that The Global Fund gave approval to repurpose the sum of US$6.2Million out of Nigeria’s on-going grants for HIV, TB and malaria, to support implementation of the nation’s initial Incident Action Plan (IAP) for COVID-19.  He said the Fund was used to support rapid expansion of Nigeria’s diagnostics capacity for COVID-19 through decentralization of testing to all 36 States and FCT.

The Honourable Minister said that the rapid expansion of Nigeria’s diagnostics capacity for COVID-19 was achieved by using existing TB diagnostic instrument - the GeneXpert Machine and the procurement of Biosafety Cabinets for the GeneXpert Laboratories to be able to conduct COVID-19 tests, without exposing the laboratory scientists to risk of infection.

Dr. Ehanire disclosed these at the press briefing on the grant of $890 Million US Dollars over an implementation period of three years, 2021 to 2023 made by The Global Fund held Tuesday, 21st July, 2020.
 
The Honourable Minister said, in addition that The Global Fund also approved a grant of US$21.9 Million to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response saying that the new grant is “the result of a proposal Nigeria CCM submitted to The Global Fund few weeks ago.  The new grant, he said will be specifically used to procure test kits to support COVID-19 testing with the GeneXpert machine and other molecular laboratory equipment.”   Dr. Ehanire added that “Overall, The Global Fund grants for COVID-19 will support testing for about 1 Million Nigerians over the next 12 months.”

While expressing appreciations on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic and the people of Nigeria, to The Global Fund “for the generous donations to Nigeria over the years, the Honourable Minister said that their support has had a significant impact on the lives of Nigerians, particularly with regard to prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Dr. Ehanire extended the appreciation to the United Nations and bilateral partners of Nigeria for the consistent support to the Nation’s mission to achieve Universal Health Coverage for Nigerians and pledged that the grants will be put to judicious use with a high level of transparency and accountability maintained in accordance with President Buhari’s injunction of zero tolerance for corruption.




Signed:
Olujimi Oyetomi,
Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has announced a grant of $890 Million US Dollars over an implementation period of three years, 2021 to 2023 made by the Fund. Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this at a press briefing held at the Federal Ministry of Health, Tuesday, 21st July, 2020.

The Honourable Minister of Health said that with the latest grant, Nigeria has, as of date, accessed 94% of US$2,436,371,946, which is the total amount committed by The Global Fund’s to operations in Nigeria since inception in 2002.”  

He explained that the Global Funds’s commitment to Nigeria was split into four program areas: (a) HIV/AIDS, (b) Tuberculosis, (c) Malaria, (d) Resilient Systems Strengthening for Health, (RSSH).” The Honourable Minister gave the breakdown of the sum as follows:

HIV/AIDS    874,801,962
Tuberculosis    338,655,681
Malaria    1,168,613,356
RSSH    44,178,974
TB/HIV    10,421,972

Dr. Osagie Ehanire who is also the Chairman of the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for Nigeria, further reeled out the key achievements of the Global Fund investments in Nigeria.  He said “for the HIV/AIDS component, the Fund investment has contributed to placing 1.04 million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) on treatment in Nigeria. With the support of the Fund, Nigeria has provided life-saving ARVs for 194,900 PLHIV on ART.”

HMH and CCM Chairman, Dr. Osagie Ehanire briefing the Press on $890M Global Fund's grant to Nigeria, Tuesday, 21st July, 2020.
HMH and CCM Chairman, Dr. Osagie Ehanire briefing the Press on $890M Global Fund's grant to Nigeria, Tuesday, 21st July, 2020.

In addition, the Minister stated that “the fund supported the 2018 NAIIS survey which provided precise data on the epidemic in Nigeria, confirming HIV prevalence of 1.3%.” On the TB programme, with the support of the fund, about 120,000 TB cases, he said are identified and treated annually since the inception, while TB services are provided in more than 12,000 health facilities. “We have provided 398 GeneXpert machines in 36 States and FCT.”

For malaria, he said “the Global Fund has contributed to a decline in malaria prevalence from 42% to 23% from 2010 – 2018. 11 Million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated mosquito nets” which he further added “are distributed annually through mass campaigns.”  “At least 4 million confirmed malaria cases are treated annually at public health facilities in 13 states supported by the Global Fund”, he said.

The Minister added that “The Fund has also built 6 Pharma grade medical warehouses, supported procurement of 3 X-ray mobile vans for screening of tuberculosis in Lagos in addition to infrastructural upgrade of health facilities and laboratories and capacity-building for frontline health care workers under the Resilient Systems Strengthening for Health, (RSSH).

At the Global Fund’s fund-replenishment meetings held every three years, where it mobilizes contributions from Governments, private sector and philanthropists to support its public health programmes around the globe, Dr. Ehanire disclosed that Nigeria also contributes at these events and has so far contributed a cumulative sum of US$28.62 Million to the Global Fund since its inception, including USD$10 million pledged at the replenishment in Montreal, Canada, in September 2016.”

He added that at the last replenishment conference in Lyon, France, in October 2019, “Nigeria increased its contribution to The Global Fund by 20% with a pledge of US$12 Million for the period 2021-2023.”

The Honourable Minister of Health described the Global Fund as “an innovative international financing mechanism established by the United Nations in 2002, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and that it is a global partnership of governments, civil society and private donors, established for the purpose of attracting, leveraging and investing resources to fund public health interventions to accelerate the eradication of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in affected high burden countries, towards sustainable development goals” while the CCM - Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Nigeria as “the official national establishment, through which The Global Fund relates with Fund recipient countries.”

He added that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health, facilitated the establishment of Nigeria's Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) in March, 2002, as “the recognized entity with the mandate to receive Global Fund grants on behalf of the country” assuring of a judicious application of the fund to which the UNAIDS Country Director who gave a goodwill message at the press briefing attested that Dr. Osagie Ehanire is a CCM Chair who could be trusted to apply the grant judiciously because “you do not give your money to someone who you did not trust.”




Signed:
Olujimi Oyetomi,
Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health who is also the Chairman of the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for Nigeria, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has announced a grant of $890 Million US Dollars over an implementation period of three years, 2021 to 2023 made by The Global Fund.

The Honourable Minister described the latest grant as “the largest made to any country in this funding cycle” and explained that it is “sequel to a successful funding request made by the Nigeria Country Coordination Mechanism CCM.”

Dr. Osagie Ehanire made these disclosures at a press briefing held at the Federal Ministry of Health, Tuesday, 21st July, 2020. While pledging a judicious application of the fund, the Honourable Minister of Health on behalf of the Federal Government said the latest grant from the Global Fund will be applied to:
a.    Enhancing access to malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment services in 13 States of Adamawa, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Taraba and Yobe States;  

b.    Enhancing access to HIV/AIDS and TB services across all 36 states and the FCT; and

c.    Improving Nigeria’s health system, particularly, provision of infrastructure for warehousing and distribution of health commodities, laboratory services, data management and capacity building for our healthcare providers, including support to community systems.

Dr. Ehanire pledged that the implementation of the grant “will specially target the poor, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, and those at higher risk of the target diseases, to promote equity in access to health care services.”




Signed:
Olujimi Oyetomi,
Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of Health has described the gesture of donation of medicinal items by India to Nigeria as “gracious and touching” as the global plague affects all countries, and India has its own problems just as Nigeria has hers, in spite of which India still tried to find the resources to donate to Nigeria and other countries.

Dr. Ehanire said this when the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, H.E, Shri Abhay Thakur came to deliver 586 Cartons of medicines meant to combat COVID-19, a gift from the Government and People of India to Nigeria.

The donated medicines include Hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics which the High Commissioner, H.E, Shri Abhay Thakur stated was “sent to Nigeria in line with the commitment made in the conversation between H.E, Dr. S. Jaisankar, and the Minister for External Affairs of India and his Nigerian Counterpart, H.E. Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 24th April, 2020.”

In a statement at the occasion, the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria said “the donation underscores the special and unique ties between India and Nigeria.”

The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire giving his opening remarks during the handing over ceremony of Medicines donated by the Indian Government to the Federal Republic of Nigeria to aid the fight against COVID-19.
The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire giving his opening remarks during the handing over ceremony of Medicines donated by the Indian Government to the Federal Republic of Nigeria to aid the fight against COVID-19.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire also revealed that “Nigeria and India share information management protocols and tactical advice and long interactions between our countries” which he said, “is almost legendary.”  Ehanire said “relationship between the two countries spanned Defense, Science, Research and very many other spheres and Education, particularly.”

Dr. Osagie Ehanire also said “perhaps the most poignant of the relationship” between India and Nigeria is “pharmaceutical.”  He said India is a hub of pharmaceutical industry and all countries look forward to India in that respect.”  He added that “We look forward to collaboration with you as we thank you for the donated products because of our position in Africa as the most populous country, a distinction that we share with you in Asia, and also that Nigeria is a hub with other West Africa Countries; the market here is huge and opportunity for collaboration are endless.  We have mentioned your distinction in the production of APIs which to us here in Nigeria are extremely important.”  

The Honourable Minister further revealed “an area of interest” which he said need to be stressed: Vaccine production revealing that Nigeria “is an aspiring vaccine production country” which he said has “gone into a partnership with a private company to produce vaccine for the use of our citizens.”  He requested to collaborate with India for the production of vaccine for the use of Nigerians, revealing further that the aspiration of the whole world now is the development of vaccine for COVID-19.”  Nigeria, the Minister said is most interested in seeing a way to connect with the outside world to share knowledge, to share experience and advances for the production of a useable vaccine against COVID-19.”

The list of the donated medicines from India to Nigeria include: Azithromycin 250 MG Tab; Hydroxychloroquine 200 MG Tab; Hydroxychloroquine 250 MG Tab; Cefotaxime Sodium 1000 MG Inj; Metronidazole5 MG/ML 100 MLIV; Ceftiaxone1 MG Injection; Ceftiaxone1 500MG Injection; Chloroquine 250 MG Tab; Levocetrizine5 MG; Ibuprofeen 400 MG Tab; Paracetamol 500 MG Tab; and Montelukast10MG Tab all packaged in 589 Cartons.




Signed.
Olujimi Oyetomi,
Director, Information, Media & Publicity.

The Nigeria Media Association (NMA), Federal Ministry of Health Chapter which has been re-activated on 6th June, 2020 by the Congress and to which all Medical Doctors working in any capacity, which includes even the Honourable Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Honourable Minister of State, belong, has paid a courtesy call on the Honourable Minister of Health, Tuesday, 14th July, 2020.

Led by the Chairman of the Interim EXCO, Dr. Zakariya Mohammed, the NMA members in Federal Ministry of health stated that they are taking advantage of inclusive government and an open door policy being operated by the Minister to gain access to him “not to make much demands” but also to pledge the loyalty of their Congress to the Honourable Minister’s leadership and management team.

In a statement read at the occasion of the courtesy call, Chairman of the Interim EXCO of the NMA, Dr. Mohammed extended the warm felicitations of the body to the Honourable Minister of Health and his team for the efforts on COVID-19 response in the country particularly the development of the Integrated Health Sector COVID-19 Response Plan which is meant to guide the country’s response and ensure harmonization.

The NMA, Federal Ministry of Health Chapter further seized the opportunity of its courtesy call on the Honourable Minister to convey the appreciation of the Congress of  the Association for considering their ranks for the payment of the special COVID-19 hazard allowance, some of whom, the Interim EXCO Chair revealed, have already received credit alert. “This will certainly go a long way in motivating the healthcare workers in the Ministry.”

However, like Oliver Twist, the NMA, FMOH Chapter requested among other things from the Honourable Minister that its members, “despite being closest to the leadership of the Health Sector, are the ones being left out or lagging behind in matters to do with welfare of Doctors in the Country” but expressed the hope of its Congress “that this narratives will change during” the Honourable Minister’s tenure. They cited the example that, “only our members among Doctors in the Federal Government’s Payroll are yet to enjoy skipping.”

Putting their requests to the Honourable Minister succinctly, they prayed for:
i)    The capacity building for members in areas of Leadership and Management and other relevant Professional trainings.
ii)    The implementation of skipping for our members to reduce the existing gross disparity in the salary of our members and Colleagues in other Federal Institutions and MDAs.

The Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, also a member of the NMA FMOH Chapter who spoke during the occasion pointed out that the courtesy call should be seen as a “Family meeting” and the coming of the Body to the Honourable Minister as a “familiarization meeting” with subsequent ones referred to the Department of Hospital Services especially when they have some demands to make.

Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi sought to regard NMA FMOH Chapter's visit to the Honourable Minister of  Health on 14/7/2020 as a visit by family members.
Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi sought to regard NMA FMOH Chapter's visit to the Honourable Minister of Health on 14/7/2020 as a visit by family members.

The Honourable Minister of Health while responding told the NMA FMOH Chapter said that it feels nice to know that the body exists and that they need to know that they are the “closest NMA group” to the Ministry and “that presents you with opportunities and values; there will be instances where you will be representing the main body of NMA and also to stand in and improve interaction; what we call a bridge.”  He also charged them to note that the profession they are in, is the most respected in every society, because every other person or professionals are potentially the patient of the medical doctor.  He told them to note the responsibility that they carry and to use their influences to mitigate all those tendencies and to ignore those who think the easiest way of finding answers to disagreements is to go on strike and closing their eyes to a number of people who lose their lives during those processes.  “There is no strike, he said, “that will not cost some people their lives.”  He said, for him, “that is too high a price to pay.”

HMH, Dr. Osagie Ehanire gave some words of wisdom to nudge the visiting NMA FMOH Chapter members, 14/7/2020.
HMH, Dr. Osagie Ehanire gave some words of wisdom to nudge the visiting NMA FMOH Chapter members, 14/7/2020.

Ehanire told his visiting colleagues to also know that the health system of Nigeria is not very strong and it has been further challenged with the outbreak of COVID-19 and that Nigeria like every country else in the world was not prepared in any way for the pandemic.  

He also told them that his leadership has been prepared to harness the wisdom and experience of everyone who is a doctor.  “The profession of medicine”, he said, “apart from caring for life is also a profession of leadership which does not mean that we are better than others, “not at all.” 

“Everybody is important, everybody deserves his respect, the laboratory scientist, the radiographer, the nurse, they all deserve their respect, their regard, they are not junior, they are not inferior, everybody is a team member.  That is how to build a workforce.”  With those nuggets, the Honourable Minister thanked the NMA FMOH Chapter members for coming to interact with him.




Signed.
Olujimi Oyetomi,
Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.

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