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Nigerian health minister tells hospitals not to turn away patients


It is unethical for health workers not to attend to patients – minister

NIGERIA’s Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire has exhorted hospitals across the country not to turn away any patients from their facilities.

According to Premium Times, during the presidential task force briefing on Covid-19 in Abuja on Monday, Ehanire said it was unethical for health workers not to attend to patients.

Ehanire said service delivery and training in consultation with the state governor was being conducted by the government to assist Kano State’s ministry of health.

“The setbacks reported in routine hospital service delivery in Kano State are being addressed by line experts from the ministry, whether from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency or the Department of Family Health.

“A federal ministry of health pathologist is also participating in the investigation of the unexplained deaths in Kano.

“The team shall be reinforced according to needs expressed by the state government to strengthen its health care structure,” Ehanire said.

The minister said 20 rapid response teams had been mobilised across Kano State to reach people who needed to be tested for the coronavirus.

“Forty-one Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) staff and 17 World Health Organization (WHO) staff are deployed at the moment to support the Kano response. With support of partners, two facilities are funded per Kano LGA (local government area) and will be setting up one sample collection centre per LGA,” he said.

Ehanire urged all residents to remain responsible and adhere to all protocols as lockdown regulations were being gradually relaxed.

“Since our Covid-19 statistics are of considerable concern, attention has also been drawn to the observation that countries who eased or lifted restrictions suffered an increase in new cases.

“Although our projection already features an increasing number of cases, even with the lockdown, I believe that redoubling our efforts to adhere to government directives can keep figures within control range of Covid-19,” Ehanire said.

The minister said the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) was working with the primary and community health workforce to expand testing.

He also asked for all citizens and health workers to work together.

“I again call on all citizens to co-operate with health workers, and for those testing positive to comply with invitations to enter isolation care.

​”I also call on all health care facilities not to reject persons seeking medical help, especially in emergencies. It is unethical not to attend to persons in distress.

“I also urge citizens to go to the hospital when not feeling well and to co-operate by giving accurate information, especially with regard to their travel history,” he said.

According to the NCDC, the country has reported 2 802 cases of the coronavirus, with 417 people discharged and 93 deaths.

– African News Agency (ANA)