NIGERIAN Medical Association (NMA), Anambra State branch, over the weekend kicked off its 2020 Physician week at the General hospital, NMA hall, Onitsha, with the theme, “Strategies for Health System Recovery”.
Speaking at the occasion, the NMA State Chairman, Jide Onyekwelu, recalled that the coronavirus pandemic came into the state on April 10, 2020 with its malevolence.
The chairman who was represented at the event by the NMA Onitsha Zone Chairman, Prof. D C.D Anyiam, noted that, “COVID-19 pandemic came with destruction and unmasking of the nakedness of our healthcare delivery system, adding that the microscopic virus, SARS-COV2, came commanding every aspect of our economy.”
“It commanded medical tourism to a halt and it obeyed, it commanded markets to close and they obeyed, it closed schools, churches, mosques and suspended cultural practices and they obeyed.”
“Friends no more shake hands, every person became a masquerade, wearing masks always. Our shaky unstable healthcare delivery system ironically was unmasked. Its ugly nakedness showed”.
“To compound issues for the healthcare system, the disruption in the economy and social life generated its own ugly consequences with young boys and girls out of school and not having anything to do, thus occasioning upsurge in crime and teenage pregnancies.”
“He commended the National President of NMA, Prof. Innocent O. Ujah, for developing the theme of this year’s Physicians Week, ‘Strategies for Health System Recovery,’ describing it as apt in this era COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the entire world.
The chairman noted that as healthcare stakeholders they need to develop strategies for recovery now, “we need to build on the lessons learnt to prepare for future epidemic and pandemics. COVID-19 is not the end” he warned.
In his remarks, the chairman of the organising committee, Dr Christopher Okonkwo, said that the activities lined up for the 8-days event had on several occasions be rescheduled until last weekend when it kicked off, adding that some aspects of activities were skipped due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following EndSARS saga.
“As a result only the opening ceremony, visit to the less privileged, annual dinner/dance/ award and rededication service will be held of which the kick off ceremony has been performed.”
In their separate remarks, Doctors Okey Umeano and Dame Vivian Onwuekwe stressed the need for all to be conscious of their health condition by checking their health conditions always.