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NIMR boss urges warring doctors to ‘fight’ with decorum

Following the five-day nationwide warning strike recently embarked by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to press home their demands, Director General of the Nigerian Institute
of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, Prof. Innocent Ujah, has urged them to fight with high level of decorum.
According to him, it is the right for workers to fight for their welfare but strikes should be an instrument that should be seldom used and with utmost degree of restraint, particularly with life – saving services like theirs.
Speaking at the year 2015 Joint Graduation Ceremony and Prize Presentations Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Training Schools, in Lagos, Ujah said, there is no doubt the country is experiencing rough times, therefore a great deal of understanding should be exercised while demanding for “our rights”.
Ujah who was represented by Head, Non- Communicable Diseases, NIMR, Dr. Nkiruka Odunukwe, charged the various union leaders within the health sector to provide responsible leadership to their members so that conflicts with management could be reduced to a tolerable level.
Odunukwe also noted that health workers should fight for their welfare through dialogue because of the peculiarity of their job.
“They should fight but to the barest minimum as wisdom needs to be applied because we are dealing with human beings,” she expressed.
The NIMR boss while congratulating the 408 graduands from the nine LUTH training schools lamented the need for them to support the knowledge acquired with deep feelings for patients through empathy while caring for them.
The psychological component of health care services he said is equally important as the physical care.
“Acquiring knowledge alone does not necessarily improve the care of our patients, I therefore enjoin all the graduands to please apply themselves to art and science of clinical services that will bring succor to our patients,” he added.
The nine schools involved in the ceremony includes school of nursing, school of midwifery, school of medical laboratory sciences, school of health information management, school of medical and psychiatric social work, school of post basic nursing, community health officers training school, school of basic dental nursing, and school of anaesthetic technicians.
Interacting with journalists, the best graduating student from the school of nursing, Adebayo Yetunde who bagged eight awards described it as her greatest achievement in life and hopes to utilize acquired knowledge maximally to benefit patients.
The 22-year-old graduate appealed to government to aid in the procurement of medical equipment to boost learning, “so that this equipment won’t be improvised all the time, we should make use of the appropriate equipment to be abreast with world technological standards,” she noted.
Another recipient of the best-behaved student prize in paediatric nursing from School of post basic nursing, Mrs. Erubami Oluwatoyin stated lack of accommodation as the major challenge during her course.
She advised upcoming nurses especially in the aspect of paediatric care saying, they are the mouthpieces for babies they care for because they cannot express themselves, hence total attention and care is needed.
Meanwhile, hitherto to the graduation ceremony, Chairman (CMAC), Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Olufemi Fasanmade, at a press briefing pointed out that graduates from the LUTH training schools provide the workforce for most of the newer hospitals in various parts of the country.
Therefore, “people are not required to train overseas in all these areas,” he stressed.
He continued: “LUTH retains between five to ten per cent of trained students from the various schools, as about 80 per cent of graduates from the school of anesthetic technicians were retained last year.”
Reacting to the challenge of insufficient lecture rooms and hostels in most of the schools, Fasanmade explained, “the hospital has long term plans towards it as major constructions in our outpost at Pakoto ,Ogun State are at various stages of completion.”
“There are lecture theaters and hostel as we believe in few years if funds are provided, we should be able to gradually move some of our schools to that place,” he added.
While appealing to government to increase budget for the teaching hospital because of its location, Principal, School of health information and management, Mr. Taiwo Ojo lamented that more commitment has to be shown in the running of training programmes in teaching hospitals
Ojo who cite insufficient funds as the hallmark of the challenges faced by the various training schools said “except we have a good training grounds for medical and allied professionals, there won’t be an effective health care in the country and efficiency is dependent on training provided.”

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