A coalition of NGOs, the Rehoboth Community Advancement Initiative (RECAN), has condemned the recent invasion of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, by suspected hoodlums who destroyed and carted away personal and hospital property.
Some hoodlums had, on July 1, invaded FMC Lokoja,during which they carried out the dastardly act.
The RECAN Executive Director, Mr Abaniwo Nathaniel, in a statement on Friday in Lokoja, expressed his heartfelt support to all health workers responding to COVID-19 pandemic, and those working tirelessly in other health care as well.
He stressed that healthcare workers, facilities and medical vehicles should never be a target of violence, while urging governments, communities and all weapon bearers to respect and protect health care workers and facilities at all times.
He urged the people to contribute to creating a protective environment in which health care services could be provided safely, saying, ”safety and protection of health care workers and healthcare infrastructure is paramount during the Coronavirus pandemic.
”Ensuring that health care workers are safe and able to carry out their jobs is crucial for their protection and that must be guaranteed by the government.
”Healthcare workers are often exposed to all forms of infectious diseases in their life-saving activities and they should not also be made vulnerable to any form of physical attack.
”Unfortunately, the deplorable state of our health institutions in Kogi State and the entire country remains a major concern to all and sundry.
”Violence against health care workers should not be tolerated. Therefore, we stand firmly against it and advised Kogi Government to build a state where health workers and patients are safe and well protected,”Nathaniel said.
He advised the Kogi Government to find a common ground in resolving the needless back-and-front argument on whether or not Coronavirus exists in the state.
He expressed the deep concern of RECAN over the avoidable trauma caregivers and patients of men and women, including children on admission at FMC Lokoja would have gone through while the attack was going on.
He sympathised with the caregivers and urged the State Government to rise up to her responsibilities of providing security for the residents of the state and particularly the healthcare workers whose life were constantly under threat.
”We urge the state government to urgently intervene by setting up a panel of enquiry to look into the immediate cause of this needless attack on FMC Lokoja,”he said.
He urged the security agencies to investigate the breach in security at the hospital, and anyone found culpable in the dishonourable act, be made to face the full wrath of the law.
He also called on the leadership of Kogi NGO Network (KONGONET) to develop implementable strategies to bring both Kogi Government and management of FMC to a discussion table where all issues could be resolved in the best interest of the state.
Nathaniel, however, advised the management of FMC Lokoja to reconsider the strike and reopen the hospital to admit patients in dare need of medical services.
He urged residents to continue to stay safe and strictly comply with NCDC COVID-19 protocols.