NMA rejects Chinese doctors despite arrival

THE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has criticised the arrival of  Chinese medical doctors into the country to fight against the new Coronavirus. 

In a two pages release obtained by TheICIR, the professional body stated it is not against the visit, but expresses concerns about the contradiction between the explanation of the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and the Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Micheal Jiang, whi said the medical personnel will be treating Chinese workers in their facilities in China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) with critical and necessary healthcare assistance.

“We are taken aback at this statement as this is at variance with the information supplied by the Honourable Minister of Health. We wish also to ask when Medical expatriates started coming to Sovereign States to treat her nationals? What happens to the Nigerians working in those facilities”

NMA maintained that Nigerian government is not transparent about the role the Chinese doctors are expected to play in the country.

The body insists that the government should come out clear on the invitation of the Chinese doctors as they are aware of the Chinese’ plan to construct two isolation centres in Abuja.

NMA added that the facilities cannot better compare to world-class isolation centre constructed and donated by Guaranty Trust Bank to the Lagos State government without the help of Chinese experts.

“We are aware of the “Stride with Nigeria” mantra of the CCECC and their willingness to participate in the construction of two isolation centres in Abuja.

This gesture is no different from that of Corporate Nigeria so far, including the world-class isolation centre constructed and donated by Guaranty Trust Bank to the Lagos State government without the help of Chinese experts. Unless there is something else, we don’t know.”

The 15 Chinese doctors arrived Nigeria on Wednessday 8th of April  with equipment to assist the government tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, despite criticism by NMA.

The Nigerian minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, had earlier announced that the medical experts would be coming into the country to support the government’s fight against COVID-19.

According to The Guardian, Wednesday’s delivery is the second batch of medical supplies from China.

Nigerian flag carrier, Air Peace airlines, delivered the supplies after a historical flight to Chinese capital, Beijing.



    The flight was operated by the airline’s Boeing B777-200 ER, which arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 4:25 p.m. after 15 hours flight.

    Among the materials brought in by the flight are 16-tonnes of test kits, ventilators, disinfectant machines, disposable medical masks, medicines, rubber gloves, protective gowns, goggles, face shields and infra-red thermometers

     Jiang, in a statement on Wednesday, said  all members of the working team have tested negative to COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by undertaking 14 days in quarantine.

    He added that their primary purpose is to escort the medical supply, provide guidance for their usage and distribution.


    Samad Uthman is a multimedia journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. He tweets @sarmerdk2 and can be shot through [email protected]

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