Minister dismisses planned strike by resident doctors

Nigeria's Minister of Health Isaac Folorunso Adewole attends an emergency National Council on Health meeting on the control of Lassa Fever in Abuja, Nigeria January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde - RTX231AG

Nigeria’s Minister of Health Isaac Folorunso Adewole attends an emergency National Council on Health meeting on the control of Lassa Fever in Abuja, Nigeria January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde – RTX231AG

Orders local production of mosquito nets

The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has assured that there would be no industrial strike after the 21 days ultimatum issued yesterday by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

NARD had on Monday given government 21 days ultimatum to address some urgent demands ‘’following which industrial harmony in our hospitals may not be guaranteed.’’

The group is worried that the residency training programme is still not funded and without guiding policies. The doctors are particularly concerned about the alleged sack of its members from some institutions. They alleged also that some of their members in some state-owned hospitals had not been paid salaries ranging from three to eight months.

The minister, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the presentation of ‘NAFDAC Guidelines 2016’, however insisted that there would be no strike after the ultimatum.

He was not definite on actions to be taken to avert the situation but assured that when the doctors present their grievances to him he would act accordingly.

His words: “I am not aware of it yet (the planned strike). When I get to know, I will address it. You know I am a former member of NARD and I was also a General Secretary of the group. So, I can handle my people. Leave us to handle that. I assure you that there will be no strike.”

Meanwhile, the minister has issued directive that all mosquito nets to be used in the country should henceforth be produced locally.
Adewole also gave his nod for use of herbal medicines, and charged the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, (NIPRD), and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to step up efforts to encourage herbal medicine practitioners.

The minister, who chronicled how billions of monies were expended to import mosquito nets and other drugs, stressed that such items could be produced in the country.

He tasked NAFDAC to work with Universities of Zaria, Enugu, Ibadan and Jos to enhance research into local production of drugs.

His words: “When we came on board, what we were mandated to do was to develop health agenda for the nation.



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