The Nigeria Medical Association, yesterday, expressed worries over the spate of kidnapping of health personnel in the country.
The medical body noted that about 13 health workers were abducted since 2017.
The Chairman of the NMA National Committee on Security, Dr Omolei Friday, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja, said the Boko Haram insurgency had also led to the closure of several hospitals and health centres.
The chairman said the security challenges of terrorism, militancy, kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery and communal clashes called for a national conference where health stakeholders would brainstorm on the way forward.
He noted that the conference, which is being planned for Abuja in March, would bring together officials from the Nigeria Medical Association, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, the Medical and Health Workers Union among others.
Friday said, “We are all aware that Chief Medical directors, doctors on medical missions, pharmacists, dentists, nurses and primary healthcare workers have been kidnapped and sometimes killed in the recent past. Since 2017, we have 13 persons abducted in health-related circumstances.
“Among them are; a Permanent Secretary at the Ondo State Hospital Managament, Dr Niran Ikuomola, who was kidnapped in May 2017 along with her driver on Abuja-Lokoja Expressway. Also in October 2017, four Britons working for a medical charity were kidnapped in Delta State. One of them died in the captivity.
“The consequence of insecurity of hospitals and medical workers are devastating. Primary Healthcare Centres are being shut down in zones affected by terrorism, insurgency and militancy.
“This is why the health unions and associations will be coming together inAbuja in March to hold a national confab on security of hospitals and medical practitioners.”