NMA Urges Swift Action on Flood Preparedness
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has issued a fervent plea to both State and Federal Governments, urging them to activate emergency preparedness measures in anticipation of the looming flood threat.
Dr. Uche Ojinmah, President of NMA, made this appeal during a press conference at the conclusion of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Owerri from August 27 to September 3.
Flood Alert in Flood-Prone States
The call comes as a response to the recent alert from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warning that several states could face flooding due to the release of water from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam. States on high alert include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, and Anambra.
In his statement, Dr. Ojinmah emphasized the importance of proactive measures, including the desilting of drainage systems and the removal of floodplain barriers by state governments, particularly those in flood-prone regions. He urged Nigerians residing in low-lying areas to relocate to higher ground and implored all levels of government to assist these vulnerable citizens with relocation efforts.
Palliatives to Tackle Inflation Effects
In addition to flood preparedness, the NMA called on both State and Federal Governments to swiftly implement palliative measures to alleviate the adverse impacts of soaring inflation, which has led to skyrocketing food prices.
“We believe that between June and September, the palliatives should have been rolled out. We insist that these palliatives should go to Nigerians and no longer be stored in different warehouses,” stressed Dr. Ojinmah.
Economic Challenges and Medical Brain Drain
The NMA President highlighted the economic fragility of the country, suggesting it is contributing to a significant medical brain drain. He called for intensified efforts to address the pervasive insecurity in Nigeria as a crucial step toward economic recovery and mitigating the exodus of medical professionals.
While commending the recent upward revision of the consolidated medical salary structure by the Federal Government, Dr. Ojinmah emphasized the necessity of further reviews, particularly in light of the inflationary impact following the fuel subsidy removal.
Support for the Medical Profession
Dr. Ojinmah expressed appreciation for President Bola Tinubu’s inclusion of medical professionals in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and commended doctors appointed to various positions, including the Minister of Health, Prof. Mohammed Pate, and the Minister of State for Health.
The NMA President called for unity among healthcare professionals, stressing the association’s commitment to fostering a progressive consensus for a stronger healthcare sector.
Dr. Ojinmah also praised the governors of Katsina, Osun, Sokoto, and Cross River states for their support of healthcare workers and improving their welfare. He specifically commended Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo for hosting the NEC meeting and attending the opening ceremony with members of the state executive council.
Dr. Ojinmah also appealed for the release of Dr. Ekanem Ephraim, a colleague abducted in Cross River State, urging her captors to show mercy and release her.