Why Lagos doctors are embarking on strike in the middle of a pandemic


The Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has directed it’s members to embark on an indefinite strike in the face of the Coronavirus disease.

This was contained in a statement issued by the health body. According to the statement, members of the medical association have faced harrassments and detentions from security operatives who are supposedly enforcing the 8pm to 6am curfew imposed on Nigerians by President Buhari.

However, it is unclear if this curfew includes or excludes essential workers which medical workers fall into. It is on this confused note that the umbrella body of medical workers in Nigeria has asked it’s members to proceed on an indefinite sit at home.


Read their statement below:

 “The Lagos state branch of the NMA has resolved that it is presently unsafe for its members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement.

“We resolve that all doctors under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association in Lagos proceed on a sit-at-home starting from 6.00p.m today, May 20, indefinitely.

“Until such a time when the state government and the Commissioner of Police are clear on how they wish to operationalise the lockdown/restriction of movement directive as it relates to essential service and service providers, including healthcare services and doctors.

“Healthcare workers are either resuming duty, returning home, or on-transit to heed an emergency call.

“There was a most disturbing case of an ambulance conveying an injured patient which was prevented from moving to destination, while the attending health workers were harassed and temporarily detained.”

The indefinite strike may have be short-lived as the Nation’s Police Public Relations Officer, Frank MBA, has also released a statement announcing that all essential workers including medical personnel, fire fighters, ambulance services, journalists are exempted from the restriction of movement occasioned by the nationwide curfew.

All essential workers, including medical personnel, firefighters, ambulance services, journalists, etc, are exempted from the restriction of movement associated with the partial lockdown and national curfew across the federation.

“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu has, therefore, directed all zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police to give effect to these exemptions, while enforcing the restriction orders,” Mba wrote.