By Lesley Muosowo Otu
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has condemned Federal Government’s invitation of Chinese medical experts, to assist Nigeria in the fight against coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement by the President, Sokomba Aliyu on Monday, the Association wondered that government could contemplate such invitation without conferring with relevant stakeholders, like the Nigerian Medical Association.
“We find it rather curious that our Government would contemplate to throw open her international borders to Chinese nationals having watched how similar action in Italy proved socio-economically suicidal.
“The Federal Government cannot be championing illegality. All doctors coming into Nigeria are supposed to be licensed by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and we are sure these ones are not.
“Nigeria is about one fifth of the population of the African continent and currently the world has watched with awe the very slow rate of case fatality arising from COVID 19 in Africa and is yet to understand, explain, covet or undermine that possible genetic advantage.
“The crafty Chinese scientists should the last group of friends to trust at this time given how unreliably and covertly they have managed the information around the pandemic beginning from the data around its origin, characteristics, and other virulence features to help the nations yet to experience the surge to be better prepared.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that conspiracy theories have it that COVID 19 is a possible tool for both sociopolitical and economic manipulation and domination. Nigeria is too important in the African continent to act any carelessly in the face of this emerging but portent threat to human existence.
“The attempt to import human resources for health from China into Nigeria where many qualified medical doctors and other cadres of health workers are yet to be gainfully employed is the height of insensitivity and disservice on the part of the Federal Government and their advisers.
“The challenge at hand would have been sufficient marker to agitate the FG to the direction and timing for massive employment of medical and other health care workers to provide enough hands in the industry to battle the COVID 19 as other nations are doing.
“Some countries even went ahead to accelerate the graduation of their final year medical students. They did not turn to China. If the FG had completely employed the available qualified doctors and other healthcare workers before turning to China for medical manpower to fill any persisting gap; it would have being less suspicious.
“The Nigerian medical experts are currently winning the COVID 19 battle and should be encouraged and motivated and supported to win the war instead of distracting them with this unfortunate plan”, the statement reads.