The branch of the Nigerian Medical Association in Abia State has declared an industrial action following the abduction of the former Chief Medical Director of the State University Teaching Hospital, Professor Uwadinachi Iweha.
The state chairman of NMA, Dr. Chimezie Okwuonu, who announced the strike after a prayer session, said the strike will go on until Dr. Iweha is released adding that the action was taken to press home their demand for the state and federal governments to ensure the release of their senior colleague.
Prof. Iweha was reportedly abducted on Sunday, June 6, 2022, in front of his country home while returning from a church service.
But declaring the industrial action, the NMA Chairman said shortly after he was abducted, his family was contacted but regretted that since Monday, the next day, “nothing has been heard from them”.
Okwuonu stated that the withdrawal of medical services in Abia State will affect public and private health facilities.
He, however, noted that emergency services would be maintained.
“With this kidnap and continued detention of Prof. Iweha, we are not sure of our safety. With this, our safety cannot be guaranteed and difficult for us to work.
“We still plead with the state and the federal government to ensure Prof. Iweha is released,” he said.
Reacting, the Medical Director, Federal Medical Center, Umuahia, Prof. Azubuike Onyebuchi described the abduction of Dr. Iweha as painful.
He, however, lamented the impact of the strike action on patients, saying “most patients cannot afford the exorbitant cost of private clinics.”
He advised the doctors to think about the impact of their actions on the poor patients and to work with security agencies to ensure the release of their colleagues.