Strike: Resident doctors sign MoU with FG over demands
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government in an effort to end the ongoing strike.
NARD commenced a five-day warning strike on May 17 to press home their demands after their 14-day ultimatum expired.
The doctors are demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 per cent of the current gross salaries of doctors.
The doctors also want immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals and immediate withdrawal of the bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services in Nigeria before being granted full licences to practise, among others.
The doctors on Friday met with the Senate Committee on Health, the House of Representatives Committee on Health and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, to deliberate on their demands.
Speaking with our correspondent on Saturday morning, the NARD President, Dr Emeka Orji said, “We have heard the position of the government, and we have told them the position of NARD and we discussed. They told us what they can do, and what they cannot do and why they can’t do those things with timelines, and we signed.
“So we will take back what the government offered to the NEC to accept or reject it and give further directives. Part of the MoU is that NARD will call its NEC in the next 48 hours and brief them on the outcome for them to decide.”
Meanwhile, the strike, which started on Wednesday, continued on Saturday, with medical services hampered in federal hospitals around the country
Nigeria needs peacetime health system to tackle next pandemic – NCDC
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), has said that the country needs a peacetime health system to be better prepared for the next pandemic.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said this on Monday in Abuja, at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and the International Research Center of Excellence (IRCE) Scientific Seminar, with the theme “Addressing Local Health Challenges through Research and Partnerships”.
Adetifa said there was a need for the development of libraries for rapid diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine development in anticipation of Disease X.
He said that there was also a need for the country to intensify its approaches to health promotion, disease prevention and emergency response.
The NCDC DG said that a strengthened laboratory diagnosis capacity and coordinated surveillance can not be overwhelmed.
According to him, data, data and more data, freely shared will allow for better decision-making across the country.
Adetifa, however, said that the country’s key lesson from the COVID-19 Pandemic, was the role of political will and specific strategies.
He said that reliable data was critical for informed decision-making, while Strategic collaboration and partnership were essential.
The Director General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Babatunde Salako, also stressed the need for adequate funding for research in the country.
Salako said that funding must be provided to research the area of disease surveillance, prevention, detection and treatment in the country.
While commanding IHVN for its continuous efforts towards research in the country, he said that NIMR would continue to support its efforts in the country.
Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, Executive Director of the International Research Center of Excellence, IHVN, said that IRCE possessed a clear vision and mission which align with IHVN’s.
Abimiku said that IRCW provides leadership in research in Nigeria and West Africa through globally standardized expertise, transparency and accountability, positively shifting the culture of research in Africa.
She said that IRCE has the following main objectives — to fulfil its goal of creating an enabling environment for creative thinking and innovation in science to address Nigeria’s and global health priorities.
She said it provides a common world-class platform for the implementation of research and clinical trials at international standards as part of global networks.
“Fosters collaborations and synergism between Nigeria’s finest researchers and their counterparts at international research institutions and universities.
“Provides a safety net that protects IHVN and its collaborators from liability by proactively ensuring that research conducted at IHVN is under the highest scientific and ethical standards.
“Provides opportunities for young or early to mid-career Nigerian researchers to develop and execute research projects being mentored by more experienced investigators at IHVN, Nigerian Universities, the diaspora, and international research institutions and universities,” she explained.
She said it would also establish a training hub that facilitates individual and institutional learning through training and capacity-building courses and programmes that would provide a platform for researchers to gain the requisite skills necessary to excel in research and long-term career goal formation and early years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that for over 19 years since IHVN’s establishment as a non-profit and non-governmental organization, it has addressed the HIV/AIDS crisis in Nigeria by developing infrastructure for treatment, care, prevention, and support for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
IHVN has, over time, expanded its services to cover other communicable and non-communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cancer, COVID-19, and other emerging diseases.
My ordeal with ‘aggressive’ breast cancer – Diezani
A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has prayed the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the bench warrant issued against her on July 24, 2020.
She accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of concealing facts to obtain the bench warrant, contending that she was not on the run but travelled to the United Kingdom in 2015 to get treatment after being diagnosed with “the most aggressive form of breast cancer — Triple Negative Cancer.”
Alison-Madueke, in a motion on notice brought by her counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon to extend the time within which she could seek leave to apply for the order discharging the bench warrant.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Alison-Madueke served as minister between 2010 and 2015 in former President Goodluck Jonathan government.
The ex-minister urged the court to strike out her name as “a defendant in charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Diezani Alison Madueke, pending before this honourable court.”
The motion, which has FRN as complainant/respondent, had Alison-Madueke as sole defendant/applicant.
NAN reports that the Federal Government, through the EFCC, had, in an ex-parte motion, sought a bench warrant against Alison-Madueke.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who granted the order on July 24, 2020, after the anti-corruption lawyer moved the motion, directed that Alison-Madueke should be arrested by local or international police anywhere she was sighted within or outside the country.
The development followed the inability of the EFCC to extradite her back to the country from the United Kingdom, where she resides, to stand trial for the money laundering charges pressed against her by the EFCC.
The case was, however, reassigned to Justice Olajuwon following the transfer of Ojukwu to the Calabar division of the court in 2021.
The ex-minister, in the five grounds attached to the motion, said the bench warrant was issued without jurisdiction, and ought that it be set aside ex debito justitiae.
She argued that it was issued in breach of her right to fair hearing.
She further argued that she had neither been served with the charge sheet nor the proof of evidence in charge numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018.
“The ex parte application for an order of bench warrant against the defendant/applicant was obtained upon gross misstatements, misrepresentations, non-disclosure, concealment and suppression of material facts and this honourable court has the power to set aside same ex debito justitiae, as a void order is as good as if it was never made at all,” she said.
In the affidavit she personally deposed to, Alison-Madueke averred that she had resided in the UK since May 22, 2015, when she voluntarily travelled for medical treatment.
She said that towards the end of Jonathan’s administration, she was diagnosed with “the most aggressive form of breast cancer — Triple Negative Cancer.”
“I hurriedly flew into England on May 22, 2015, in order to undertake a critical course of treatment, which consisted of two operations, eight months of intensive chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy and I have remained in England ever since then, where I have undergone intensive medical care and treatment.
“In the course of receiving my treatment and only one week after completing the eight-month course of treatment in my extremely aggressive chemotherapy (during which time I was erroneously put into a near fatal coma), on October 2, 2015, I was invited by the UK National Crime Agency, to the Charing Cross Police Station, London, where I was questioned for several hours and subsequently released on police bail.
“Prior to that time, the officers of the NCA had invaded my personal residence and conducted a search, carting away with them several documents and other valuable items.
“Since then, I have consistently and severally been invited for interviews by the NCA, many of which have been serially adjourned or postponed to future dates due to no fault of mine.”
The former minister further alleged that almost contemporaneously, with the raid on her residence by officers of the NCA, the officials of the EFCC also broke into and raided her private residence in Abuja and carted away several documents and many items of value.
“All this was done in my absence and without any prior invitation or notice to that effect,” she alleged.
She said she had either read in the media or been informed by close associates and relatives, about several forfeiture orders said to have been made in respect of certain funds and property in some charges or other civil proceedings all of which were usually ascribed and allegedly said to belong to her in the media.
“I have till date never been served with any court processes in respect of all the aforementioned charges or forfeiture proceedings in Nigeria, to enable me respond, or defend myself,” she said.
Alison-Madueke alleged that the EFCC, which had been filing the said charges or forfeiture proceedings, knew very well she resides in the UK, and had indeed on an occasion in the past, actually served a particular document on her through the NCA.
She said since residing in the UK, she had been living openly and had never made any attempt to conceal her identity, location and/or home address, from any persons, or authorities, whether abroad or in Nigeria.
“The NCA is fully aware of my location in the UK,” she added.
She, therefore, prayed the court to vacate the order of bench warrant against her and strike out her name from the charge in the interest of justice.
NHIS Accredits Lafiagi General Hospital As Participating Healthcare Provider
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has accredited the General Hospital, Lafiagi, Kwara State, as one of its participating healthcare services provider.
Fidel Info reports that the scheme approved the state-owned facility to provide both primary and secondary healthcare services comprising surgery, laboratory and pharmacy.
The General Hospital, Lafiagi, is one of the healthcare facilities that was comprehensively renovated and equipped by the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The facility had been in a state of disrepair for many years before the administration made its intervention.
Among other factors, the good state of the General Hospital gave way for its accreditation by the federal government-led NHIS.
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