The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), FCT chapter, has called on the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force and heads of security agencies to intervene in alleged harassment of its members by security personnel enforcing the imposed curfew in the territory.
The Chairman of the chapter, Dr Philips Ekpe, made the call in Abuja while donating home-made Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers in FCT.
Ekpe decried the harassment of NMA members in spite of the exemption of essential workers by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said that the health workers in the territory would have no option but to embark on strike if the harassment continued
Ekpe said it would be difficult for health workers to continue rendering their services if the harassment was not addressed.
“There is incessant harassment of health workers in FCT even when they show their identification cards.
“The healthcare workers are frontliners in this war against COVID-19.
“They should be encouraged rather than being harassed.
“These cases have been discussed with the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Security in FCT.
“We have told them that if they cannot protect the healthcare workers, we have no choice than to sit at home and let the system run itself,” Ekpe said.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to ensure prompt payment of COVID-19 incentives and health insurance benefits to health workers.
Newsmen report that the items donated included 1,600 face mask, 1,600 hand sanitisers and 1,600 face shields.
Ekpe said that the items were donated to complement the efforts of the Federal Government and other philanthropists aimed at protecting the health workers in the course of their service to the country amid the pandemic.
”Nigeria and FCT are advocating the use of face masks.
“In many hospitals, companies, and market places the enforcement agencies are making sure everyone wears a face mask.
“People that are mostly at risk are the healthcare workers.
“It is on this note we decided to complement what the government and other philanthropists are doing,” Ekpe said.
In his reaction, the National Coordinator of the Task Force, Sani Aliyu, pledged to discuss with the heads of security agencies to ensure the safety and free passage of all essential workers, including health workers.
“Essential workers need to be allowed free movement according to the PTF guidelines,” Aliyu said.