Health and Safety

Call off strike, patients beg Imo resident doctors

Call off strike, patients beg Imo resident doctors
Written by Maritime First

…As Expert says Being over 40 years is risk factor for Prostate Cancer***

Patients at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) have urged the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) in Imo to call off their four-week strike in the interest of public health.

Many of the patients made the call when News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent visited the hospital in Orlu on Thursday.

One of them, Mr Sunday Okoroji who has been on admission for seven months, said that the prolonged industrial strike was delaying his healing  process.

He begged the state  government to hearken to the demands of the doctors so as to enable them resume work.

Another patient, Chijioke Udorie, (9) who said that he was hit by stray bullet, also called on the doctors and government to come to a common agreement and end the strike, adding that he was going through a lot of pain.

“The doctors said that they were not well paid and that they were tired of working on empty stomach.

“I’m begging my governor to listen to the doctors and pay them in full so that they can treat us,”he appealed.

Also speaking, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyekachi, an orthopedic patient lamented that the prolonged strike had been increasing her bills.

According to her, she is more than half way healed and was expecting to be discharged when the strike commenced.

The Chairman, ARD, IMSUTH Dr Bright Chukwunta said that the strike was a continuation of an earlier strike the doctors had suspended after reaching agreement with Gov. Emeka Ihedioha shortly after he was sworn in.

Chukwunta, who was represented by the Secretary General of the association, Dr Chinonso Muokwe said doctors’ demands include payment of full subvention and provision of necessary equipment in the hospital.

The chairman also identified repair of access roads leading to the hospital as on of the doctors’ demands.

“We had a gentleman agreement with the state governor seven days after he assumed office where he promised to restore our subvention to 100 per cent.

“He also agreed to pay arrears of salaries owed us, and fix access roads to the hospital.

“It is almost five months down the line and nothing has been done in that regard.

Also read:  Consider your patients before embarking on strike, Obasanjo tells doctors

“This is why on Sept. 12, we recommenced a previously suspended strike on the ground of breach of agreement on the part of government.

Dr Okoro Izuchukwu, a former secretary general of ARD, IMSUTH also said that the health and well-being of doctors was paramount, adding that doctors could not work on empty stomach.

He also said that most of the patients could not afford private health care bill, noting that government hospitals were more affordable.

“We call on the state government to fulfill its promises because government sponsored health facilities are more affordable and easier to access.

“This is why the welfare of doctors here is paramount as we cannot effectively function on empty stomach,”he said.

In the meantime, Dr Bassey Eyo, a member of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Cross River
chapter, on Thursday, said that being a man of over 40 years is a risk factor in contracting prostate cancer.

She told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar that “having a family history of the disease also makes a man prone to contracting the ailment.”

Eyo said prostate cancer was common in men of over 40 years and for a man to be safe, he needed to be screened.

She explained that during screening, an antigen called prostate-specific antigen is picked in the blood, and when these antigens
are more than four, it is then suspected that the man has contracted prostate cancer.

She noted that physical examination would also be carried out on the man, after taking his history.

According to her, there is no specific known cause of prostate cancer, except that it has a hereditary part and can
be influenced by bad lifestyle like smoking, drinking and excessive use of tobacco.

She advised that “any man who is above 40 years should go get a Digital Rectile Examination (DRE); it is not painful or expensive, unfortunately, many Nigerians wait for the disease to come first before they treat.

She explained that “DRE is a test for both men and women. It allows a doctor to check the lower rectum, pelvis, and lower belly for cancer and other health problems.

“Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer, it could be operated on or drugs can be given to the patient which he would be taking for life.

“Anyone that has a male in his family that died from prostate cancer or that encounters difficulty in urinating or sees traces of blood in his urine should get immediate checkup.

“Even those who experience excessive urination, split urine during urination or a feeling of some urine left after urination should run to hospital for DRE.”

The MWAN member said that the Cross River chapter of the association had declared the month of October as cancer-free month with the theme “I can and I will” and outlined programmes, ranging from enlightenment campaigns to free cancer screenings in the state.


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