Catholic doctors have reaffirmed the need for the NIgerian Government to hold as sacred the right to life by all Nigerian citizens, including the unborn child.
The doctors made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the 12th Scientific Conference of the Association of Catholic Medical Doctors, held recently at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The communiqué contained many recommendations on how to improve the health of Nigerians, in conformity with the guidelines of the Catholic Church. The Statement was jointly signed by Dr Emmanuel Okechukwu of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and Dr Margaret Mezie-Okoye who is President of the Doctors' Association and Chairperson of the local organising committee respectively.
The Conference, among other things, “called on the government to re-commit to working for all Nigerians and to truly develop a national consciousness on shared values; to lead Nigerians to possess, take ownership and protect this nation morally, socially, politically, and economically in a truly independent and progressive manner. The protection of lives of everyone, including the unborn Nigerians is a sacred duty for all, especially those in authority,” the communique reads.
The just-ended conference also called on the government to adequately train health services personnel, equip and fund national agencies mandated to protect the health and lives of Nigerians; legislate and strictly regulate and monitor the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs); as well as provide adequate funding for research in this respect.
The association reiterated its commitment to the promotion of the sanctity of human life, marriage between a man and a woman, natural family planning and NaPro Technology in pursuit of family health and national development.
The Conference observed that, “A society is measured by how well it cares for its vulnerable members particularly women, children, the disabled and the aged. The deaths and destructions currently being endured by Nigerians in different parts of the country are unacceptable, and we urge the government to step up efforts in order to reassure citizens of its capacity to protect lives and properties," the doctors said.
The Conference, which started with an opening Eucharistic celebration, featured presentations on several aspects of health and medical services by experts from different parts of the country. It was attended by 77 delegates from 16 states of Nigeria.