NMA Declares Indefinite Strike Over Death Of Doctor

In response to the untimely passing of Dr. Diaso Vwaere, a fellow doctor, the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has decided to start an indefinite strike at three government hospitals on Lagos Island.

On Wednesday in Lagos, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu, the Chairman of NMA Lagos, and Dr. Ajibowo Ismail, the Secretary, jointly signed a formal statement to convey this direction.

In a terrible accident on August 1, Dr. Vwaere, a medical house officer working at the General Hospital in Odan, Lagos, died from injuries sustained when the hospital elevator she was in fell from the building’s 10th level.

NMA has instructed doctors employed by the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, the General Hospital, Odan, and the Massey Street Children’s Hospital to begin a strike until a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Dr. Vwaere’s death is concluded and justice is served.

“The information we received indicates that Dr Vwaere was trapped in the elevator for over 40 minutes before being rescued. Additionally, no blood was available for resuscitation, which has become a recurring issue due to the government’s revision of the blood donation policy. This was a preventable death, and regrettably, it was allowed to happen. We are in mourning and filled with grief,” stated the association.

NMA expressed concern over the longstanding issues with the same elevator, which had been reported multiple times to relevant authorities without resolution. They stressed that when the country is grappling with an unprecedented brain drain, losing a young colleague who could have attended to the medical needs of 6,000 Nigerians is both tragic and unnecessary.

The association calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the unfortunate incident’s circumstances. They demand that all individuals found responsible, including the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency, Ms Adenike Adekambi, be brought to justice.

As a mark of respect for their deceased colleague, NMA has requested doctors at other government hospitals in the state to scale down their activities, with only emergency services being provided for the next five days.

Furthermore, NMA appeals to the government to urgently initiate an overhaul of the house officers’ quarters on the Island and undertake necessary infrastructure repairs in all government hospitals.

NMA also emphasizes the need for the government to revamp the blood transfusion system in the state to enhance services and avoid similar tragedies in the future.

The association reassures its members to remain calm, as NMA Lagos State leadership is actively addressing the situation and will tirelessly work towards ensuring justice is served and visibly upheld.

In conclusion, NMA extends heartfelt condolences to the family of the late doctor, her colleagues on the Island, the Medical Guild, and all medical practitioners in the state while offering prayers for the strength to bear this irreparable and unfortunate loss.”

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