FG Constitutes Emergency Medical Treatment Committee

The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated an Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT) Committee and National Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance Scheme (NEMSAS) to provide an effective and Efficient Emergency Medical Services to Nigerians.

Inaugurating the Committee yesterday, in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the main mission of the Committee was to use available resources and mobilise other resources, to provide efficient emergency medical services with full national coverage as part of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for Nigeria.

In his words, “The key point here is that when treating Nigerians of injuries from road accidents, people should not border about who will pay the bills because under this scheme, the government is ready to take care of the entire Nigerian constituency”

He noted that EMT was an important component of effective and comprehensive Medical system which was long overdue. The Minister added that inauguration of the Committee demonstrated a high sense of care by the Federal Government in that the system would offer efficient emergency services every Nigerian, when and where such services were required.

He further charged members of the committee, Chaired by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to create awareness about the scheme and ensure that they rendered emergency programme that Nigerians would be proud of.

In his keynote address, Dr. Ehanire, a renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon, noted that in addressing the health care system, loses occurring from trauma seemed to had fallen below the radar. He opined that a good number of lives lost could have been safe with effective emergency system on ground.

According to Ehanire, “We must develop a good emergency medical system which if properly harnessed could save a lot of road users from unwarranted loses’’ He maintained that a functional ambulance Scheme was part of a functional Medical care, as such; a medical transportation system was basic for emergency medical service.

He further stated that a lot of disabilities from road accidents were due to poor road designs, lack of regular vehicle inspection, untrained drivers, amongst other factors. He added that the focus should therefore be on prevention because ‘’if we focus on prevention, money would be saved. The first step lies with Road safety while the last lies with the Doctors’’ Ehanire emphasised.

Contextualising the inauguration, Ehanire said that according to WHO, over a quarter of fatal injuries (27%) were due to road accidents, making road accidents among the top 10(ten) causes of death in low and middle- income countries (LMICs) including Nigeria.

In this light, in addressing the global need for Orthopaedic trauma care, Ehanire informed that the Africa Union Continental plan of Action for the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2010-2019) recognises and identifies health, rehabilitation and accessibility, in the Intervention strategies for managing impairments.

He noted that as infectious diseases such as Polio, Malaria and HIV/AIDs were increasingly brought under control, trauma accounted for a growing proportion of the world’s burden of death and disability, much of it being from musculoskeletal injury(according to WHO).

To meet the growing problem therefore, Ehanire stressed, that the inauguration of the Committee was the right step in the right direction by the Nigerian Government.

Members of the Committee were drawn from Nineteen Organisations/Parastatals, such as: Ministries of Health, Works, Information and Culture; Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Guild of Medical Directors, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Federal Fire Service, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), The Nigerian Police Force, amongst others.

Boade Akinola,

Director, Media and Public Relations


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