Another health crisis is looming over the already overstretched health sector in Nigeria’s Edo state following threat of indefinite strike by the Medical and Dental Consultant Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) branch over the abduction of Dr. Michael Azikien, a consultant gynaecologist of the Hospital by yet unidentified gunmen.
Dr Azikien, a former chairman of the UBTH branch MDCAN, was kidnapped while returning from work on Wednesday between 10 and 11 pm at the entrance to his house located at Evbomore Quarters, Benin City.
Chairman of the hospital branch of MDCAN, Prof. Afekhide Omoti, who made this threat while addressing journalists at a press briefing held in the hospital, said consultant doctors of the hospital may embark on an indefinite strike with effect from Friday if Dr. Azikien was not released unhurt by his abductors.
He however appealed to the kidnappers to release Prof. Azikien without further delay so that people of the state would not have to bear the brunt of the likely crisis that may ensue should they decide to go ahead with their threat.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof Michael Ibadin, appealed to the captors that Dr Azikien "be allowed to return unhurt so that he can continue the good work he is doing."
Prof Ibadin, who described Azekien as one of the leading consultants in the Test Tube Baby Programme of the hospital, said it was regrettable that "medical doctors are over-represented in the number of kidnapped people in Edo State."
The CMD, who disclosed that though the abductors of the consultant have contacted his family, however, said that securing the release of the doctor required the efforts of everybody concerned because of the high rate at which medical doctors were being kidnapped in Edo State.