COVID-19: Chukwukere makes case for medical students


Dr Jane Favour Chukwukere, the Executive Director of a popular Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Society for the Widows and Orphans, has expressed deep concern over the plight of graduating medical students especially in Imo and the South East.
She expressed her views in a telephone chat with Edge Express at the weekend while reacting to the government’s reluctance to open schools especially the higher institutions.
Chukwukere lamented that even with the lack of medical personnel we have lost many doctors and nurses wondering where we are going to get replacements for them since there are no immediate arrangements to graduate medical students.
In her words, ”when those on house jobs conclude, who will replace them? The final year medical student at home should be allowed exceptionally to resume studies so that they can replace the graduating house officers.”
Continuing, she said that, ”we are losing our health workers and they need more hands, even if the government do not allow other classes to resume they should allow the graduating and the 5th class students because at that level they can manage themselves with the observance of Covid-19 measures.
”Nobody knows when the pandemic will stop. How long will it take for research to produce the expected cure for the disease because it seems the ailment is not ending anytime soon? Assuming it continues till January will schools remain closed till then”, she queried further.
The Executive Director expressed further worry on the policy decisions of our leaders some of whom she stated may not be seriously challenged because they may be deficient in appreciating the implications of shutting down schools which is further hurting the health sector.
She regretted that most of the people taking these decisions have their children studying outside where students are taking advantage of technology to continue their education undisturbed.
Chukwukere narrated many of the foreign universities especially in American have been graduating their students amidst the Covid-19 experience including African countries like Ghana. According to her, ”no West African or African country except Nigeria is joking with their medical students.”
She suggested that Nigeria should borrow a leaf from Ghana where Consultants and their team who engage in Covid-19 treatments are allowed to isolate for a week to take care of themselves while they are replaced by another team. This she explained can only work here when we have enough hands, thus her call for resumption of medical schools.
In her words, ”our health workers are over laboured. They should be rotated”.


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