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Covid-19: NARD condemns importation of Chinese doctors to Nigeria

Doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has joined other Nigerians like Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ,to condemned the importation of 18-man Chinese team of medical experts including doctors, nurses and those with sundry expertise to assist Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

In a statement that was issued by NARD and signed by its President Sokomba Aliyu, in Abuja.

He said attempt to import Human resources for Health from China into Nigeria where many qualified medical doctors and other cadres of health workers are yet to be gainfully employed is the height of insensitivity and disservice on the part of the Federal Government and their advisers.

The statement reads, “The Association is in indeed puzzled that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health would be contemplating such an adventure without firstly discussing it with the key and relevant stakeholders like the Nigerian Medical Association; our parent body; and all her relevant affiliates that parade some of the world’s best hands in all fields of endeavor.

“We find it rather curious that our Government would contemplate to throw open her international borders to Chinese nationals having watched how similar action in Italy proved socio-economically suicidal.

“The Federal Government cannot be championing illegality. All doctors coming into Nigeria are supposed to be licensed by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. Am sure these ones are not”.

The NARD President stressed, “Nigeria is about one fifth of the population of the African continent and currently the world has watched with awe, the very slow rate of case fatality arising from COVID 19 in Africa and is yet to understand, explain, covet or undermine that possible genetic advantage.

“The crafty Chinese scientists should the last group of friends to trust at this time given how unreliably and covertly they have managed the information around the pandemic beginning from the data around its origin, characteristics, and other virulence features to help the nations yet to experience the surge to be better prepared. We should not lose sight of the fact that conspiracy theories have it that COVID 19 is a possible tool for both sociopolitical and economic manipulation and domination.

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“Nigeria is too important in the African continent to act any carelessly in the face of this emerging but portent threat to human existence”.

He noted that, “The attempt to import Human resources for Health from China into Nigeria where many qualified medical doctors and other cadres of health workers are yet to be gainfully employed is the height of insensitivity and disservice on the part of the Federal Government and their advisers.

“The challenge at hand would have been sufficient marker to agitate the FG to the direction and timing for massive employment of medical and other health care workers to provide enough hands in the industry to battle the COVID 19 as other nations are doing. Some countries even went ahead to accelerate the graduation of their final year medical students. They did not turn to China. If the FG had completely employed the available qualified doctors and other healthcare workers before turning to China for medical manpower to fill any persisting gap; it would have being less suspicious”.

According to him the Nigerian medical experts are currently winning the COVID 19 battle and should be encouraged and motivated and supported to win the war instead of distracting them with this unfortunate plan.

“The news making rounds in some quarters have it that the Chinese experts are only coming to Nigeria to play only some advisory roles and not to directly intervene in the day to day handling of Nigerian patients do not appear believable because telemedicine should have been more cost-effective, faster and easier to harness over a large number of uses that to fly them into Nigeria and move them from place to place at a huge cost to our national budget.

“As a way forward, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors hereby wishes to present her position concerning the plan by the FG to import Chinese medical experts as alternative to other more impactful interventions to combat the evolving COVID 19 as follows:

  1. NARD hereby advises the FG to stop the implementation of the Plan and rather, immediately engage all key relevant Nigerian medical experts including NARD and present the full intents and purpose of the planned importation of Chinese experts for full evaluation, cost-benefit analysis and consensus on the best option
  2. In the interim and pending when item one above is fully done, NARD wishes to distant herself from the planned importation of Chinese medical experts to Nigeria in whatever guise or hood for the reasons presented in this write-up and many more.
  3. NARD shall not contemplate further warning to distance herself from the Chinese adventure by way of withdrawing all her members from every public health facility in Nigeria so that the anticipated downturn in the output of Nigeria’s healthcare service delivery can be properly situated and traceable to the Chinese as is the case today in Italy.
  4. NARD hereby reiterates her position which was canvased earlier in the week for the FG to immediately and massively employ all qualified but unemployed doctors and other healthcare workers. Get them trained, insured, motivated and deployed nationwide.
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He said instead of FG importing doctors and experts the FG should properly equipped the hospitals with state of the art equipment and devices and all necessary personal protective equipment made available to all healthcare workers instead of demoralizing them with the news of plans to import Chinese experts.

It would be recalled that NUJ
issued a statement and signed by Chris Isiguzo National President, Shuaibu Usman Leman, National Secretary a few days ago condemning importation of doctors and experts from China.

“The NIGERIA Union of Journalists National Secretariat is alarmed by the decision of the Federal Government to bring Chinese Medical doctors to Nigeria to fight Covid 19, despite the fact that Nigerian doctors are doing exceptionally well in fighting the outbreak. We caution that it will be counter productive to bring in Chinese doctors.

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“It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria government failed to realize the fact that this virus started in Wuhan China.

“While some have applauded the way and manner China contained the virus in Wuhan- the only Chinese city to be so affected, we hasten to note that there is more to this charade than is being let out by the Chinese authorities, and we reject a situation where Nigeria will be used as a Guinea pig for any experiment.

“It is pertinent to plead with the Federal Government to stop this Medical team from coming to Nigeria because of the Italian example where there was an inexplicable spike in Covid 19 related deaths when the Chinese doctors arrived the country”.

NUJ appealed to FG to urgently investigate the allegation that what is happening today is associated with the launching of the 5G communication network, as Nigerians are becoming more agitated over the issue which cannot be swept under the carpet.

“We urge the FG to be more proactive in dealing with these emerging issues because any mistake made will be catastrophic.

“This is a big mistake Nigeria government will regret on if they don’t revoke this decision, China has been so secretive in the past few days about the death rate in their country and Nigeria government failed to do a proper verification before concluding on their decision”.

They alleged that the imported experts will try and infect more people with coronavirus and also make sure the case goes out of control so as to make Nigeria like Italy, France and Spain case.

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