CORONAVIRUS: CHINESE TEAM’S VISIT NOT TRANSPARENT SAYS NMA

Moses Emorinken, Abuja

 

THE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged healthcare workers to be wary of using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China. It insisted on the rejection of the visiting Chinese medical team.

The NMA alleged discrepancies in statements issued by the Managing Director of the Chinese donor firm about the purpose of the Chinese ‘Medical Experts,’ and that by Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire.

The President of the NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile, in a statement in Abuja, said: “We call on all healthcare professionals to be wary of uncertified Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China.

“We demand a thorough screening of the so-called medical team of experts by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and other relevant regulatory bodies to verify their status, as we call on the Federal Government to publish the names, designations/status, and qualifications of the so-called ‘medical experts’.

“We are not against the receipt of donor support and equipment. We rather are against pulling the wool over our eyes going by the recent statement issued by the Managing Director of the Chinese donor firm operating in Nigeria that the medical personnel will be treating Chinese workers in their facilities.

“We are taken aback at this statement as this is at variance with the information supplied by the Honourable Minister of Health. We wish also to ask when Medical expatriates started coming to Sovereign States to treat her nationals? What happens to the Nigerians working in those facilities?

“We are aware that the Chinese team will provide ‘CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance’, as stated by the Managing Director of CCECC. It does not seem likely that the team will not have contact with Nigerian patients as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) would want to have us believe. CCECC has Nigerian workers among her employees.

“The Government has continued to ‘shift the post’ in explanation regarding this Chinese invitation. First, it was that these were mere donations, then to experts rendering assistance to set up test laboratories and now to the experts treating patients. No country allows foreigners to jump on their patients and manage without regulation.

The Association requested that the Presidential Task Force consider and deal with the genuine concerns of Nigerians, including all the professional bodies that have spoken out against this curious decision to engage the Chinese at all cost.

Faduyile added: “We will continue to monitor this uncomfortable relationship with the so-called Chinese personnel. We shall not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to protect our long-suffering fellow citizens against any form of medical exploitation.

“We reaffirm our belief in the ability of the Nigerian healthcare professionals especially those at the frontlines to continue to do their best for our country as we continue to reject this ‘Greek Gift’ from CCECC at this time.

“We, however, call on all men and women of goodwill to mount pressure on the Government to provide adequate PPE to the frontline healthcare workers and not share it among the political class who are not facing similar risk like the frontline workers.

“We advise our members to be on alert for further directives as events unfold”