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Anambra NMA decries COVID-19, EndSARS impact on health system

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By Phil Okose, Onitsha

The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Anambra state branch, has decried the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the recent EndSARS protest on the healthcare system in Nigeria. The group made the lamentation during its 2020 Physicians Week themed, “Strategies for Health System Recovery”.

The NMA state chairman, Dr. Jide Onyekwelu, disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the weakness of the Nigerian health care system. Onyekwelu, who was represented by the NMA Onitsha zonal chairman, Prof. D C.D Anyiam, lamented that the pandemic virtually grounded economic activities to a halt.

“It commanded medical tourism to a halt and it obeyed. It commanded markets to close and they obeyed. It closed schools, churches, mosques and suspended cultural practices and they obeyed. Friends no more shake hands, every person became a masquerade, wearing masks always. Our shaky unstable healthcare delivery system ironically was unmasked. Its ugly nakedness showed”.

“To compound issues for the healthcare system, the disruption in the economy and social life generated its own consequences. With young boys and girls out of school and not having anything to do, will one not expect upsurge in crime and teenage pregnancies?”

He urged healthcare stakeholders to develop strategies for post COVID-19 recovery. “We need to build on the lessons learnt to prepare for future epidemics and pandemics. COVID-19 is not the end,” he warned.

“In their various remarks, Drs. Okey Umeano and Dame Vivian Onwuekwe stressed the need for all to be conscious of their health condition by checking their health conditions always.

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