Abia doctors begin strike over kidnap of colleague

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Doctors in Abia State have announced withdrawal of their services in both public and private hospitals to register their dismay over the kidnap and continued detention of their colleague, Prof. Uwadinachi Iweha.

Iweha was Kidnapped on June 6, 2022, around 4:00pm, in front of his house at Umuokpara in Umuahia South Local Government Area.

The doctors had during their earlier protest last Friday, threatened to go on strike if after 47 hours their kidnapped colleague was not released.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Abia State, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, said the strike was to alert the world that the safety of doctors in the state was no longer guaranteed.

The NMA argued that there was no way doctors would continue to provide maximum services amid uncertainties over the safety of their members who are always on duty to serve humanity.

“As an Association deeply involved in the welfare of Medical Doctors in Abia State, we are worried that nine days down the line, Prof. Uwadinachi Iweha, is still within the kidnappers den. This is traumatic, depressing, dehumanising and has instilled a lot of fear within the medical community whose primary objective is to save the life of Abians from the medical point of view.

“The Nigerian Medical Association Abia State hereby condemns the kidnap of its member and calls on the Abia State Government and security apparatus to do all that is necessary to secure his release.

“Our ernest prayer is that his health condition does not deteriorate further and he comes back alive to us and his family.

“The recent spate of kidnap with its attendant consequences on the morale of its citizens has the capability of eroding the achievement we have made, as a state, in the area of security.

“Medical doctors work all round the clock. This includes normal duties, surgeries, clinical calls, emergencies and administrative duties. The nature and scope of our work involves been on the road any time you are called, as more than 95% of Doctors reside outside their place of work.

“With the current state of fear caused by the kidnap and detention of our colleague, safety cannot be guaranteed and it will be difficult to attend to duties as normal as no one knows who will be the next victim.

“With the kidnap and continued detention of our colleague, we are not assured of our health and well-being as Doctors in this environment; hence may not provide care of highest standard. ,” the association said.

Arising from its meeting on June 10, 2022, the NMA Abia State ranch took a peaceful protest to the Government House where it registered its displeasure at the kidnap of its senior medical colleague.

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