Amid the imminent third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the recent outbreak of cholera in more than 13 states, Nigerian doctors have begun nationwide industrial action. The doctors, members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), blame the government for the strike which aims to press home its demand for better welfare packages – part of an agreement signed with the government in April, 2021. The doctors want, among other things, the immediate payment of Covid-19 inducement allowance to some of their members in federal and state tertiary institutions. The doctors have downed tools several times over these same issues.
The strike comes at a time the country is preparing for a possible third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nigeria has seen a consistent increase in the number of cases and deaths, including the presence of the Delta variant which is present in many parts of the country. Reports of cholera outbreaks in various states including Bauchi, Enugu, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Plateau, Benue, Bayelsa and Delta, have added to the pressure on the nation’s health facilities.