Doctors in Nigeria have rejected a plan by the government to import Chinese medical staff to augment the country’s battle against the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Garba Abari announced on Saturday that the move was aimed at getting first-hand experience on how the pandemic was handled in China.
Local media Premium Times quotes Garba Abari as saying that “Whatever information the Chinese medical team made available to NCDC will be filtered and applied to address the peculiar challenges of the country on handling COVID-19 scourge.
“This is a global pandemic and from wherever assistance comes, you cannot reject it,” he added.
The announcement has however attracted wide spread criticism from the West African country’s doctors as well as the general public.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) slammed the move as disrespectful, describing it as “an embarrassment to members and other health workers fighting the pandemic under deplorable conditions.
“These personnel should not have been subjected to the ignominy of not being carried along on such a decision,” it said in a statement.
Doctor import is illegal
Also the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) rejected the plan, stating that inviting the Chinese medical team to the country amounts to illegality.
The Association’s President, Dr Aliyu Sokomba told Nigeria’s Channel Television 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.”
Sokomba added that “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”.
Chinese officials have already been extending a helping hand to other countries badly affected by the deadly coronavirus.
Globally over 1.2 million people have been infected and over 70,000 peopled confirmed dead from the virus.
Nigeria has recorded 232 confirmed cases of the deadly contagion including 5 deaths as at April 5, 2020.
As at 09:30 pm 5th April, there are
232 confirmed cases
For a breakdown of cases by state- https://t.co/zQrpNf5Q61
Akwa Ibom- 5
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 5, 2020