The Cross River chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has withdrawn its services from all medical facilities in the state.
This was relayed in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, by the state chairman of NMA, Agam Ayuk, on Sunday.
The association demanded explanations from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on why the five confirmed cases from the University College Teaching Hospital, Calabar, have not reflected in its daily update of COVID-19.
It also passed a vote of no confidence on the Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, over alleged unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state.
The letter reads, “The association demands explanation from NCDC why the five COVID-19 confirmed cases from UCTH carried out at the NCDC accredited Molecular Laboratory at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, have not reflected in the daily situation report of NCDC long after results had been transmitted to UCTH since July 1, 2020. Congress demands update of the NCDC situation report as a matter of urgent public health interest.
“Congress demands explanations from NCDC why epidemiology code numbers have to be generated by Cross River State Ministry of Health before results of samples sent by UCTH to an NCDC approved molecular laboratory can be published by NCDC, despite having approved UCTH as an independent test centre.
“The NCDC is put on notice that the Cross River State Government have abdicated her responsibility of contact tracing, treatment and care for the five confirmed cases which may not be unconnected with the delay in publication of the results by NCDC. Congress demands the immediate activation of Adiabo Isolation Centre and commencement of surveillance and contact tracing in the state.
“Congress demands explanation from NCDC, why, despite several complaints of compromised testing in the state, investigations have not commenced on the unethical activities carried out by Cross River State COVID-19 Task Force.
“The association passed a vote of no confidence on the Honorable Commissioner for Health – Dr. Betta Edu, and further referred her to the NMA National Disciplinary Committee and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for the unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state, thus putting lives at risk and bringing the association to disrepute.
“Arising from the meeting, all members of Nigerian Medical Association Cross River State branch in public and private hospitals have embarked on a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services until NCDC and the state Ministry of Health give urgent and prompt attention to the issues raised.”
Last week, Ikpeme Ikpeme, Chief Medical Director of UCTH had announced that five patients tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital but the state government accused him of spreading falsehood.