Medical associations under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association, the National Association of Resident Doctors and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives have called on the government to immediately put in place life insurance policy for their members across the country.
This, they said, would further motivate their members on the front line of tackling the raging disease, given the hazards they are exposed to on duty.
In Nigeria, as of Saturday, a doctor had died as a result of the disease, two doctors in Edo State had also tested positive for the virus, while about 25 doctors, comprising house officers, resident doctors and a consultant had been in self-isolation after coming in contact with COVID-19 patients.
Similarly, in Lagos, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof Adetokunbo Fabamwo, told News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday that four nurses in the hospital had been placed in isolation after they had contact with a patient who died of the virus. He, however, said all the doctors took precaution when attending to the patient.
Responding to the urgent call, the Nigerian Insurers Association has increased the compensation it promised to pay the dependants of doctors who died in the course of treating coronavirus patients in Nigeria from N1m to N3m.
The NIA Chairman, Mr Tope Smart, who disclosed this on Saturday, said this was part of the industry’s contribution to boosting the health workers’ morale and supporting the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
The underwriters, however, retained the amount they promised to pay nurses and other auxiliary workers if they die while attending to COVID-19 patients at N1m.
Smart said this was in addition to arrangements by the association to procure testing kits and protective materials for the use of health workers in the front line of the fight against the virus.
“In line with our profession as risk managers, NIA has decided to arrange a special life insurance cover for all health personnel and allied professionals who are attending to victims of COVID-19,” Smart said.