21st March, 2020
The Nigerian Medical Association in Cross River on Saturday said that its members would not suspend the indefinite withdrawal of services embarked upon on March 10 until the wife of their colleague, Mrs Christiana Ekanem is released.
Ekanem was kidnapped on March 10 2020, in her home in Satellite Town in Calabar by unknown gunmen.
Addressing newsmen in Calabar, Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr Agam Ayuk, expressed the Association’s displeasure over the continued incarceration of Ekanem who has remained in captivity for 11 days.
Ayuk said that her continued stay in captivity had caused trauma and distress on the family and members of the Association.
“The Cross River Government has not shown any political will to facilitate the safe release of Mrs Ekanem, neither has the government scaled up any measures to curtail the abysmal insecurity situation in the state.
“NMA in Cross River will continue her indefinite withdrawal of services until Mrs Ekanem is released safely and unconditionally. Her life and safety is as important as the life of any Coronavirus victim.
“The state owes all citizens residing in Cross River equal rights to safety. Unfortunately, the safe release of Mrs Ekanem cannot wait until Covid-19 is contained and we cannot afford to abandon her to fate.
“The Association hereby reiterates her call on Gov. Ben Ayade to expedite the safe release of Mrs Ekanem and put measures in place to secure lives and properties in the state as his primary responsibility,” he said.
Ayuk disclosed that Cross River has not recorded any case of Coronavirus, adding NMA remained committed to emergency preparedness and the health of the people.
He called on the state government and all stakeholders to implement proactive steps to curb the pandemic of Covid-19 through public health education, reducing public gatherings and designing treatments protocols.
“NMA is calling for the upscaling of effective training of health care personnel, especially those in the frontline in both public and private facilities.
“We are fully committed to ensuring this is realised to prevent abandoned and shabby treatment of victims.
“We hereby call on the National Centre for Disease Control and the state government to support the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to adequately build the capacity of the isolation centre to manage critical cases”, he said.