The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Saturday, called for the withdrawal of the infectious disease bill (Control of Infectious Diseases Bill).
In a statement by NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, and General Secretary, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, the medical practitioners said there was need to withdraw the bill and redraft it to take care of doubts associated with it.
The medical practitioners commended the leadership of the House and the health-related committees, but called for broader consultation with stakeholders to ensure the country gets a law that will be implementable and not be in conflict with the Constitution. The statement said: “NMA is not embarrassed by the public outcry against specific provisions of the Bill, as such is one of the hallmarks of democracy and welcomes the resolve of the House to subject the Bill to public hearing. “We further urge the withdrawal of the Bill entirely and redrafting to remove any existing and future doubts in the people.”
The doctors also commented on inadequate PPEs, expressing dismay that doctors and other health workers still do not have adequate PPEs. They advised their members and other healthcare workers in the country to avoid attending to suspected or confirmed cases of COVD-19 if they do not wear the appropriate PPE in the interest of the personnel and their families, and the wider society.
Besides NMA calling for withdrawal of the Infectious Diseases Bill, the statement added: “The Presidential Task Force, PTF, must direct the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and other employers of doctors and health workers, to make arrangements for the provision of an adequate supply of PPEs at the point and time of need in the campaign against COVID-19.”
They urged the PTF and the NCDC to find the fastest workable solutions to fix the current challenges, including incorporating the approved private sector laboratories that already have established specimen pick up and transport modalities.