Courtesy Visit To Medical And Dental Council Of Nigeria.


CRH paid a courtesy visit to Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) on the 11th of May 2016 at 10am. The CRH team consisting of Executive Director, Dr Stella Iwuagwu (Executive Director for Centre for the Right Health), Mr Bede Eziefule (Director for programmes for Centre for the Right to Health), Vanessa Nwanguma-Anugwa (Human resource manager for Centre for the Right to Health) and Adeyemo Bolanle A (Program Officer for Centre for the Right to Health) were well received by Dr. A. A. Ibrahim (Registrar for MDCN), Mr.G.O. Oladokun (Ag. Head Admin), T.B Shaba (Legal adviser) and Dr. E.D Abdu (Assistant Registrar {P.D})
OBJECTIVE OF THE MEETING


The objective of the visit is for CRH to explain further on the project’s objectives, to know the functions of MDCN in regards to patients’ right violation in public hospital settings, cases they have handled in the past, to know the redress pathways and guidelines in place to seek redress in case of violation and disciplinary action taken against careless or negligent health workers and requesting the registrar to grant an interview in which he will give broad explanation of the responsibilities of the council in regulating the activities of medical practitioner in Nigeria.

Highlights of the meeting


Dr. Stella Iwuagwu gave background of the organization and the mission and vision of CRH. She also discussed about the project “accountability for patients’ rights and respectful maternity care in Nigeria”. She talked about patients’ right violation is taking place in almost all the hospitals in Nigeria and how a lot of Nigerians have lost faith in the system. She gave instances of different violation people have suffered in the hand of health workers and even her ordeal too when she had an accident. Also, she suggested that all stakeholders need to change the status quo and make provision for management numbers or hotline that people can call or report cases of violations. There should be a process of developing complaints procedures among the medical regulatory bodies that people will be aware of.
The registrar addressed the CRH team by appreciating their effort in ensuring accountability for patients’ rights in our hospital settings in Nigeria. He said the council is ready to work with CRH and are ready give free information especially in the era of freedom of information.
Dr Abdu who is medical doctor and very versed in medical law also talked how patients’ rights are being violated in the hospital setting. He acknowledged the fact that there are so many unreported cases of violations perpetrated by health workers in our hospitals in Nigeria. Also, he said patient’s right is stated in the Nigerian constitutions and there is stipulated punishment for erring health workers. In furtherance, he said a person who feels his rights have been deprived in the hospital can go to the professional regulatory body of the health worker to complain like: Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Nursing and Midwives council of Nigeria, Pharmacy Council of Nigeria and Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. Unfortunately, a lot of Nigerians are not aware of their rights and Nigeria is a country in which doctors are not accountable to their patients as against what is obtainable in America.
He highlighted process of complaints if a patient’s right is violated:


 Administrative process which involve complaining to the management of the hospital.
 Civil case in which you get a lawyer to litigate on the person’s behalf.
 Criminal Law: When there is evidence of criminal negligence by the health worker, unfortunately nobody has ever been persecuted in the past in Nigeria.
 Professional discipline: the case of violation can be reported to the council and if the disciplinary unit of the council feels the doctor act is so bad that has spoilt the reputation of the profession then necessary action might be taken against such person. The highest punishment that can be meted against a member is to remove the name of the person from the list of her members which would be publicized on the national newspapers.

He also pinpointed the major shortcoming to why there are still a lot of patients’ right violations in the hospital which are:

 People don’t report when their right has been violated.
 People that report it is always difficult to reach the conclusion of the case because the government changes every four years. These make the cases to linger on for a long time. There are cases that are pending because of the change of administration which affects the process of punishing erring health workers.
Awareness level is very low among the populace despite the concerted effort by the council to always educate doctors during their induction on ethics and best practice. However, we still have dearth of information among the masses.
Outcomes of the meeting
The council is ready to participate in the interview and a date has been schedule for the meeting.
The legal adviser is ready to join the Legal team a project advisory board sub-committee member.
The legal adviser is also ready to give technical assistance to legal consultant on getting materials and past cases that have been handled by council.
Dr. Abdu is ready to support the legal team to provide legal framework on the project and to give technical insight on how lawyers can handle cases of patients’ right violation.
The council is ready to support the organization in achieving accountability for patients’ right. CRH can refer any cases of violation perpetrated by medical practitioner to the council for disciplinary action.

Conclusion


The meeting ended at 2.20PM and there was a little chitchat after the meeting.

CRH's TV Program On Patients' Rights

 

CRH partners ITV, Abuja on a 20 minute live program to educate the general public on their rights as healthcare seekers while using the National Health Act 2014 and the respectful Maternal Care Charter as reference documents

The Meeting With The Nigerian Medical Association

 

The meeting started in earnest at about 11:20am having waited for the arrival of the President and the members of his team. The NMA president met the CRH team led by the ED already seated in the conference room.

The President who in exchange of pleasantries introduced himself as Dr. Mike. Ozovehe Ogirima  as well as the Secretary  General of the Association Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu  and the Administrative Officer Akpa Emeka, which was followed by the introduction of  the CRH ED and her crew members.

The ED in her opening remark laid the background by giving a brief history of the organization as well as spelling out the main purpose of the visit. She narrated the fate she suffered as well as that of close relatives and staff as a result of the negligence, impunity and lack of accountability in our health care system, whereas it costs nothing to report dissatisfaction of service received by patients who could seek redress but for the ignorance of patients’ right.

Stressing further, she said mistakes, carelessness and callousness has remained the attitude of the health caregivers in Nigeria. Daily occurrences of countless number of cases of violation of patients’ rights in our health care system without any redress informed the move to institute the advocacy for the fight. CRH is therefore demanding the collaborative efforts of the NMA to ensure a mechanism is built in such a way that the health system can question itself and the patients can question the health care system and demand for their rights when trampled upon.

Disclosing to the NMA team, the ED stated that the Center has embarked on a project that would climax in premièring a 30 minutes video documentary of compelling stories of horrible experiences collected from different patients who wish to share such stories. She therefore urged the association to team up with the CRH team to chart a course through which health issues can be redressed as other notable bodies such as Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Nigerian Legal Council, National Human Right Commission, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives etc are already in the band wagon.

President of the association reacting to the ED’s submission pledged the support of the NMA and commended the efforts of the organization which according to him was laudable and would be recourse to facilitating the National Health Act which hitherto a vast majority of the health care users are ignorant of. He further spoke about reviving the lost passion in the new generation of health practitioners because the decay cuts across all categories  of health workers be they nurses, doctors, laboratory scientists etc.

The Secretary General of the NMA taking the issue from the angle of the tussle for supremacy among the various categories of health workers in our health system which has not helped matters in any way whatsoever and that it could be addressed if a common ground could be created where violated patients’ rights can be challenged for sanity to be restored.

On a closing note, the ED requested to know if there was any existing forum that brings all the health professionals heads under one umbrella. The NMA president responded by saying such forum is in progress. The ED also requested for a member of the NMA to represent the association in the CRH vanguard that championing the fight against the violation of patients’ rights in our health system.  At this juncture the ED requested the president to lend his voice to the video documentary project which brought the discourse session to a close and the interview with the president session commenced.

Meeting With The Executives Of The National Association Of Nigerian Nurses And Midwives (NANNM)

 

Whereas a meeting with the executives of the NANNM kick-started at the Nurses House at about 12:40pm with the executives already seated prior to the arrival of the CRH Team. There was a warm exchange of pleasantries of the hosts and the guests which was immediately followed by the introduction of all present led by the NANNM’s General Secretary (GS) and his team as well as the ED of CRH, the total number in attendance of the meeting was seven.

The GS formerly quizzed the ED on the purpose of her visit, a question that set the ball of discussion rolling. The purpose of the visit was purely a message about the disrespect, lack of dignity and abused privacy experienced by patients in our health facilities across the nation which could actually be forestalled at no cost if there is a force that could champion the course, this she said was what she has personally experienced, narrating the ordeals of her condition as well as the circumstances of the negligence that led to the deaths of her sister and the wife of one of her staff; however, the cases cited are just an insignificant fraction in a myriad of such cases which are never reported, this and many more unprintable cases was what brought about the establishment of the Center for the Right to Health in 1999; all these occurrences are as a result of the bad ones (nurses) among the good ones, but she did not fail to mention that there are still good nurses who must be identified and rewarded. The message was very strong and clear to the point that she remarked a healthcare giver today can become a patient tomorrow. Further stressing, she made a clarion call for the reawakening of the spirituality in the nursing profession. So, there is a course to fight, hence the initiation of a project embarked upon by the centre – Accountability for Patients’ Rights and Respectful Maternal Care.

The GS in response, alluded to the fact that our health system has a lot of issues unattended to by the government and that somebody must start the fight (the point at which he commended the ED on what her organization is doing). He pledge the unflinching support of the NANNM but requested that all the ED’s submissions should be forwarded in a written/proposal format where the concerns raised can be discussed in their organ meeting and possibly harmonize the concepts that could chart a pathway for collaboration.

Barr. Ikenna Eze, the Deputy General Secretary (DGS), adding his voice, said the Association is already in a like project – ‘Respectful Maternity Care’ which he said could just be a leeway to strengthening and quickening the success of the entire project if formidable partnership can be instituted which could automatically give birth to creating a strong MoU.

It is better to try and fail than not trying at all was the closing remark of the ED while she politely expressed her desire to be a member of the NANNM, but she was told by the GS that it was only possible through the due process of registration and promised communicating all the requirements to her in due course.

It was at this point the meeting was brought to a close with some snap shots of all the attendees and presentation of a complementary gift.

NANNM’s Attendees

  1. Thomas A. Shettima – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  2. Ikenna Eze This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. Nuhu Dadi - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. Philip Ndatsu - no email 

Advocacy Visit To UNODC In Ikoyi

 

One of the major activities of the UNODC project is advocacy, on the 25th of January 2016; Centre for the Right to Health (CRH) visited United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) field office in Ikoyi, Lagos State at about 11.20am. In attendance at the meeting were Chinedu, Tina, Grace, Joshua and Victor from CRH while Harsheth, Pedro and Shadrach represented UNODC.

POINTS DISCUSSED INCLUDE;

Trainings: Harsheth said UNODC will conduct training for project staff in all the NGOs that UNODC contracted for this project and have started negotiations with their consultant Dr. Richard Pates to go round these NGOs and conduct the training along with other UNODC staff. The training will be a 2-3 days practical session where the clients will be invited from the bunks to their various DICs or offices (in our case CRH office) of the CSOs for counseling and Dr. Pates will work alongside the counselors and other team members after the clients leave the session.

There is a key project staff training coming up in September 2016 and UNODC will disseminate information regarding the date, time and who is to attend the training.

Reports: Harsheth said that she has been receiving all our monthly reports we send to her via email and apologized for not acknowledging them. She also said there will be no need to send hard copies of report to her, since UNODC doesn’t have space for too much paper work. She is happy with our reporting timeline so far. She said CRH should prepare for the visit of accounts/audit team that will be coming to our office around 15th August, 2016. All receipts of expenses we have done so far should be arranged according to the months the funds were used. Shadrach, Pedro and Folusho from Abuja office will visit for the auditing. She will be going on leave from 29th July and won’t be around till mid-August.

IEC Materials: UNODC is developing IEC materials that can be used for the target community and other CSOs can also benefit from that. At the moment they don’t have materials to share or give out to us but on Saturday 3rd of September 2016, UNODC will be pre-testing the IEC materials with CRH staff in our office. That they would need most of the project staff to come for 1hour so as to fine tune the materials and make input where necessary before it will be mass produced.

Second Installment of Project Funds:  Chinedu asked Harsheth when the second installment of project funds will be sent to CRH. Harsheth asked Shadrach to give update on that and he said that they are working on the second installment, within now and end of August 2016 we should get it. Chinedu reminded them that CRH has already been using funds from other projects within to run the UNODC project since January and need to start reimbursing those projects where the funds came from. Mr. Shadrach also said that we have a valid contract with UNODC and even if we use our funds to carry out the project, we will definitely be refunded.

Experiences from the Field: Pedro asked Mr. Joshua to share experiences from the possibilities of drug detoxification especially since they live within the neighborhood. Mr. Joshua shared his personal story and when he was into drugs and that he decided he really wanted to quit drugs, he was determined and steadfast and with support from his family, he was. Mr. Joshua also talked about support group meetings which help the clients to share ways forward.

Tina talked about personal hygiene of the clients especially the females, she said that some are pregnant, there is a teenage client and some are nursing mothers. Harsheth encouraged her to ensure that these female clients use the bathroom whenever they come to the DIC and also provide sanitary pads for them. Chinedu also said that CRH provides condoms and lubricants for clients to ensure sexually transmitted infections are prevented.

Harsheth asked if we have bought the Television for the DIC and Chinedu replied that we have already bought a music sound system, that we are waiting for the second installment to arrive so we would do most of the things outline that are cost demanding like the Television and indoor sport/games. Harsheth assured that she will quicken the approval of funds knowing that CRH is doing a lot of work in that regard.

CONCLUSION

From the meeting, it was understood that CRH is the only CSO that started in January while others started in June when the first installment was paid. Harsheth said UNODC is pleased to have us in their office and we can call, mail or visit them whenever we have concerns, success or anything else we want to discuss with them. The meeting came to an end at about 1.15pm with group photographs taken and attendance sheet signed.

 

 

PHOTO GALLERY

 

 

 

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Contact Us

Tel: 234 1 7743816, 234 8 0 9300 6708,

E-mail: info@crhnigeria.org

Abuja: A1 Aknaton Homes, Plot 822 Durumi District, Dunamis Church and Garki 1 Police Station, Garki Area 1, Abuja.

Lagos:37, Coker Road, Ilupeju, Lagos, Nigeria.

 

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