Nigerian doctors fighting deadly disease outbreaks in the country are facing increasing risk to their lives amid utter neglect and dilapidating healthcare infrastructure in Africa’s most populous country, it was revealed today.
It has also emerged that six doctors fighting bewildering outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria have died from the disease while one other doctor helping to care for Covid-19 cases at Irrua in Edo state, has just contacted the deadly Coronavirus according to a doctors association.
President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Aliyu Sokomba speaking on a television programme Thursday did not provide the identity of the doctor who has contacted the Coronavirus but he lamented the disgraceful state of healthcare in Nigeria.
He said, “there is no form of life insurance for the doctors. There is no form of compensation. To say the least, what these doctors benefit at the end of every month as hazard allowance is N5,000.
“So, we are worried that if victory against COVID-19, Lassa fever outbreak in the country is to be achieved, the welfare and wellbeing of doctors and other health workers who are on the frontline must be secured.”
According to him, “at the moment, as health workers continue to play their part in containing the spread of the disease, the health workers are not protected. One of our colleagues died just yesterday from Lassa fever. This is the state of our health care institutions and that is the fate of most health care workers in the country.
“Dr. Philp Dzuana is the sixth doctor to have died of Lassa fever in the country and very little is being done to getting this kind of situation under control.
“Just yesterday again, one of our doctors in Irrua Sspecialist Hospital, Iruaa, had tested positive for the COVID-19 disease. What that means is that these doctors that are testing positive to various diseases are being left alone to take care of themselves.