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Insecurity: We will not provide services at odd hours – NMA

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says it will no longer allow its members to provide services at odd hours because of insecurity. The Kaduna State Chairman of the association, Dr Stephen Kache, said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Kaduna, following the kidnap and murder of the wife of their colleague, Dr Philip Ataga.

Kache said the association resolved at an emergency State Executive Council meeting that the State and Federal Governments should immediately rescue the innocent children alive so they can salvage whatever is left of the broken family.

According to him, the kidnap has caused psychological trauma to the immediate family and body of doctors in the state. “The apparent targeting of doctors and their families has dampened the morale of doctors who no longer feel safe to attend to emergencies at odd hours. This coupled with the recent spate of assault on doctors is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen or better still, already happening. “The worsening state of security in our dear state and the seeming helplessness of the security apparatus of the state with an increasing rise in the number of doctors as well as other health workers and their families being abducted in the state.

“The recent abduction of the wife and two daughters of our colleague, Dr Philip Ataga, from their home with practically no help from any conventional security agencies despite the fact that it took over three hours for the abductors to gain access to the house.” Kache appealed to state and federal governments to rescue the children of their colleague, adding that the two girls are still in the hands of their abductors with no clear cut rescue plan.

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He added that the NMA  will observe a sit-in on Thursday, but will attend to emergencies only.  “The NMA and all members wish to state clearly that if the madness and senseless killings characterising the dreadful security situation does not improve forthwith, we will no longer be available to render healthcare/call services especially at odd hours, and also we will not hesitate to direct all doctor members to seek safety where ever and however possible.

“However, if the children are not rescued, we may be forced to take further actions,” he threatened. He said the association has declared Feb. 6 as a day of mourning and members will observe a sit-in for the day but will attend to emergencies only. The association, however, commended the gallantry of the local vigilante whose member paid the supreme price in an attempt to prevent the abduction.

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