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Coronavirus: Health professionals threaten to withdraw services, call for commissioner’s resignation

A Coalition of Health Professionals in Akwa Ibom State has threatened to withdraw its members’ services saying they can no longer work with  Dominic Ukpong as Commissioner for Health.

The coalition comprises National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria (AMLSN), and National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).

In a statement issued  in Uyo and made available to journalists in the state, they  called on Ukpong to  resign his appointment as Commissioner for Health in the state.

The group berated his leadership style, alleging high-handedness, lack of regards for the health professionals and poor inter-personal relationship with Professional bodies in the Sector.

Part of the statement reads: “We decry the poor inter-personal relationship of the Honourable Commissioner for Health,  Dominic Ukpong with Professional bodies in the Health Sector.

“Reject the attempt by the Commissioner for Health to cause disaffection and bring about disunity among Professionals in the Health Sector. At this point, we historically declare our shared brotherhood with and stand in solidarity with Akwa Ibom State Government and its people on preventing COVID-19.

“We urge the State Government to disregard the Commissioner’s well-known resort to his allegation of persecution and declare that nobody is fighting the Government of Akwa Ibom State.

“Consequently, in order to save the health sector, we hereby jointly, as the Conglomeration of Healthcare Professionals comprising of NMA, PSN, NANNM, and AMLSN pass a vote of no confidence against  the Commissioner for Health,  for his lack of managerial and interpersonal skills, disregard for Professionals and professionalism, high-handedness and divisive tendencies, and outright poor management of COVID-19 preparedness.

“Health Professionals will no longer continue to work with him as we no longer enjoy his leadership of the Ministry of Health.
Ipso facto.

“We call on  him to immediately resign his appointment as Commissioner for Health”, they stated.

They added, “We shall continue to monitor our resolution. Where Dr. Dominic Ukpong decides to do otherwise, we may be forced to pull-out our members from coronavirus duties while we continue to render other forms of health services. This is especially so as Dominic Ukpong has successfully convinced us that he is capable of fighting coronavirus alone.

The resolution was signed by branch chairmen of the various bodies namely Dr.  Nsikak Nyoyoko, Chairman – NMA; Comrade Patrick Odu Chairman – NANNM; Emilia Eliezer Chairman – AMLSN and  Akwaowoh Akpabio Chairman, PSN.

 Following the outbreak of COVID-19,  the Conglomeration of Healthcare Professionals in the state met and issued a Communiqué containing a public health advisory to the state government on measures to contain the potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.

The communiqué commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for adopting some measures to contain the outbreak of the disease but  expressed dissatisfaction with the non availability of medical equipment for the fight against the virus.

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