NMA commends frontline workers, pays tribute to practitioners killed by COVID-19

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has commended the patriotism and courage of frontline health workers in Nigeria.

The association has also paid tribute to those that have died in the fight against COVID-19.

The NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile revealed this on Tuesday, during the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2020′ with the theme, “Stop the Pandemic; Safety and Health at Work Can Save Lives.” 

According to him, April 28 is marked globally since 2003 as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, adding that the activity for this year has come at the right time, and that the theme is very apt. 

Faduyile revealed that information available to the Nigerian Medical Association reveals that a total number of 264 doctors have been exposed to COVID-19 situations out of which 20 actually contracted the infection, 2 have recovered so far with three mortalities. 

He added that these are among the over 66 healthcare workers who have tested positive after their exposure and 4 who died.

“NMA acknowledges that contracting the virus from patients with the highly contagious COVID-19 is feasible even with the best of conditions due to the inevitability of close contacts with the sick. 

He however restates that the occurrence could be reduced with strict adherence to the global best practice of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols. 

He noted,”Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) in adequate quality and quantity, amenities like running water, enabling environment in the health service space and spirit lifting motivation and incentives can mitigate hazardous environments, reduce drastically the incidence of nosocomial infections and engender a hazard-free health service environment.

“We salute the astute conviction and unwavering patriotism of all health workers in Nigeria especially the uncommon courage at the war front against COVID-19 and commiserate with the families and associates of the deceased.

“The Association pledges to continue to engage with appropriate levels of authority to provide for the safety of healthcare workers all over Nigeria while mobilising ourselves to brace up to continue to defend our fatherland and its people against the ravaging army of Corona virus. 

“This is also why the NMA has flagged off the “Save Our Private Health Practitioners (SOPHEP) program“ to mobilise resources in cash and kind to provide adequate PPE and consumables to assist private health facilities seemingly abandoned by public authorities to practice IPC for their safety and protection of their staff, their patients and by extension the general public.”