LAGOS, 2 April 2021 – Doctors in state-owned hospitals across Nigeria on Friday suspended their ten-day strike over pay, inadequate facilities, and lack of protective equipment.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which was organizing the strike said calling it off gives the government another chance to meet their demands.
NARD members represent about 40 percent of all registered doctors in Nigeria.
Medics in Africa’s most populous nation are demanding the payment of a hazard allowance for as long as they are dealing with the pandemic.
The union says they initially received a monthly hazard allowance of $12, but the payments stopped after only three months.
Nigerian government officials say the strike is hampering efforts to deal with the pandemic, including the administration of 40 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine received via the global COVAX initiative.
NARD has denied that the strike adversely harmed the COVID-19 inoculation campaign, blaming authorities for being unappreciative of the service and sacrifice of medics.
Many of Nigeria’s hospitals and health centers lack basic necessities, including beds and medicine.
Seventeen doctors have died of COVID since the first case was diagnosed in Nigeria in March 2020, according to NARD.
As of Friday Nigeria has confirmed 163,000 cases of COVID-19 with 2,058 fatalities and 152,000 full recoveries.