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Resident Doctors’ Quest For Safe Working Environment

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Interest in diseases and treatment of all manners of medical debilities is no doubt the driving force of medical practice. But at the very root of this professional passion lies the untold hazards including the risk of life to which many health care givers have paid huge prices.
The story of a former staff of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), late Dr Living Jamala, is a sad reflection of the ugly fates dedicated health workers have met while rendering their professional services to humanity. His dreams and aspirations were cut short while attempting to save a patient infected with lasa fever that later died of the disease.
Five years after his unfortunate demise, his professional colleagues have continued to keep his memory afloat through an annual lecture series. During this year’s edition of the Memorial Lecture organised the Association of Residents Doctors, (ARD) Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, (RSUTH) in Port Harcourt, attention was drawn by medical practitioners to the increasing dangers of work-related hazards to which health care givers are exposed.
According to the President of Association of Residents Doctors at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital,  Dr Mathew George Ela, the sacrifices paid by the late Dr Living Jamala and others demanded that, “proper attention be given to preventive measures that keep steps ahead of hazards and help doctors remain safe while discharging their professional duties.”
Speaking at the memorial lecture organised under the theme, ‘the health worker and the emerging health challenges,’ he said health workers were one of the most endangered species of humanity, especially with the sordid realities of the covid-19 pandemic. He stressed the need to motivate doctors and health workers by paying the covid-19 inducement allowance as the second wave of the pandemic threatened the lives of not just patients but also doctors and other health care givers. He applauded the efforts of the Rivers state government for the payment of covid-19 inducement allowance to care givers at the treatment centres and the timely intervention and care given to  save the lives of seven of their colleagues infected with covid-19.
Dr Ela alerted that the highly infectious lasa fever was very much lurking, and called for vigilance one part of government, the health authorities and the public, and advocated for a special health insurance policy for doctors and other health workers in the event of death or injuries with disability.
In his remark, the Chairman of the memorial lecture and Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State Hospital s Management Board. Dr   Kenneth E. Okagua, described the late Dr Living Jamala, as “a hard working young man who devoted his life and career to the service of God and humanity”.
He recalled that, “on that fateful Christmas day (25th December 2015), a 22 years old unbooked housewife was rushed into the labour ward by her husband, unconscious with elevated blood pressure and bleeding from the nose and mouth. After resuscitation and failed attempts at labour induction, I was invited to review her and I decided she will benefit from a caesarean delivery. I was still writing my notes to take her to the theatre, when the late Dr Living noticed she was gasping for breath and rushed to revive her, we lost the patient and our colleague died days after, from lasa fever infection, despite our frantic efforts to save his life, it’s a big lossto the family and all of us.”
Delivering his key note address, the guest speaker, Dr Tondor Cleopatra Uzosike, commended (ARD)  for keeping the memory of their departed colleague alive through memorial lecture series.
He pointed out that, “one of the most complex and dangerous hazards faced by resident doctors, nurses and other health workers was work place violence, mostly as a result of combination of factors from the patients and their relatives, health workers themselves and hospital management system.”
He added that the vulnerability of health workers to infectious and terminal diseases had shortened their supply all over the world and research conducted by the world Health Organization (WHO) indicated that there would be a shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, particularly in developing countries.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rivers, A Global Investment Hub

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Nothing could be more elusive and desirous as the special skills and talent of a wand and a midas touch. Dr Freeman O’ Freeman is one the few possessive of this rare gift. He has a penchant for the reorganization of ailing industries, organizations and institutions. The foremost technocrat and consultant was recently spotted by the Port Harcourt Metro at a public function in the Garden city. When his attention was sought for an interview he willingly obliged an the session was a deep insight into his experience especially his years of consultancy services with the Rivers state Government in the  early 1990s. During these period he recalled that 14 parastalals and government agencies including the three state owned media Houses were under his consultancy services for full reorganisation process. “We made the State Electricity Board to be the highest revenue earner after the Ministry of finance, we also made the staffs of Water Board, Super Board, and Rivers Marine to earn their salary after the reorganization processes, some of the moribond companies can still be revived.”  He said Rivers state was deeply blessed with potentials to host the business world through flourishing business activities, nothing that most black Americans business moguls were looking for opportunities of investing their wealth and knowledge. Dr Freeman who is also and author and religious counsellor emphasized the need for proper restructuring of the Nigerian state to address the needs and imperatives of justice in the country. He canvassed for the creation of a state owned insurance company to secure the wealth and investments of  Rivers state. “ Rivers state is global investment hub, their is need to decongest Lagos by tapping into the enormous investment potentials in Rivers state, it’s quite unfortunate that investments of Rivers state government are easing out without full privileges to the state government, despite hosting two federal terminals economic activities in the state is still low. I want the Rivers state government to reap the benefit of insurance before Governor Wike leaves office, it will count for him as one his greatest legacies for Rivers people. Commenting on the prevalence of ethno religious crisis in the country, he pointed out the very custodians of religious faith were the propellers of the evolving Crisis. “it’s very unfortunate that people don’t practice what they preach, the much resources in the hands of the ministers should be redirected for the interest of the followers, the early missionaries gave education virtually free. Ministers should allow their members to have leveraging access to their schools, this will reduced the loads of poor parents and help in producing an informed and better society”. With a deep sense of concern, he urged the federal government to address the growing spate of insecurity in country, particularly the “ incautious activities of herders.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Wife Battery: Man Forced To Undertaken By In-laws

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In a bid to restore the marriage of a certain couple in Port Harcourt, ( names withheld) the family members and parents of the wife has forced the husband to an undertaken that he will no longer used their daughter as a punch bag. The Port Harcourt Metro gathered the parents of the wife are relatively well to do very supportive to the upkeep of their daughters family. Their intervention came as a result of repeated cases of physical and psychological abuses of their daughter by her husband. It was also gathered that the parents of the wife had made moves to terminate the relationship to secure the life of their daughter but she bluffed their moves and stuck to the marriage based on her professed love for the husband. The husband was said to have been invited to an intense family session during which he was asked to sign an undertaken to be of good conduct and act as a responsible man or gets his wife forfeited. The session became dramatic when the repentant husband and in-law was said to have broken down in tears , with confessions that he was always propelled by some incontrollable forces to act the way he did.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Group Plans Grassroots Medical Campaign

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As part of measures of promoting effective medical care at the grassroots, a body under the auspices of Medical  Xray and Imaging Technicians Association of Nigeria says plans has been put in place for mass sensitisation on the need for greater access to medical services at the rural areas. National President of the body, Rev Akiene Nunyor who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the sensitisation was targeted at rousing the sensitivities of critical stakeholders towards improving health care at the rural areas as well as creating awareness among the rural dwellers. He pointed out that the absence of ultra sound facilities at rural communities was responsible for high mortality among pregnant women in rural communities, as they lacked access to the facilities. Its difficult for women to go for scan exercises for proper medical check at the rural areas. In times of emergencies before they get to the urban areas that have the facilities it becomes late. He called for a synergy between the private sector and government especially in the area of research, training and manpower development in the health sector,  He assured that the body was ready to provide the professional regulatory services for middle manpower development and standards in medical practice. While commending the Rivers state Government for its efforts in promoting care in the state he called for a “ Public/ Private sector  driven “approach in promoting effective health sector delivery.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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