Nigerian doctors begin strike over pay, facilities
The industrial action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which represents some 40 percent of doctors, is the latest in a string of stoppages by medics to hit Africa's most populous nation as it struggles to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
"We have kicked off the strike today," NARD president Aliyu Sokomba told AFP, adding that medics treating virus cases would join the action this time around.
"There will be no exemptions," he said.
"We have arrears of 2014, 2015, 2016, salary shortfalls that were supposed to have been paid over six years ago, still pending," he said.
"These are the issues we have and they appear not to have been addressed up till this day," he said.
"It is an indefinite strike," Sokomba said, adding that it would be called off only when the union's demands were met.
Strikes by medics have been common in Nigeria where the health sector is underfunded.
The authorities fear any reduction in capacity could severely hamper its ability to tackle the pandemic as the number of cases continues to rise.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation of 200 million inhabitants, has recorded over 55,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,057 deaths.