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August 15, 2014

Nigeria sacks 16,000 doctors in midst of rising Ebola concerns

President Goodluck Jonathan suspends medical training programme and implements mass firing during national doctors strike.

A Nigerian health official waits to screen passengers at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. (AP/SUNDAY ALAMBA)

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly fired 16,000 resident doctors this week, causing concern as the country fights a number of Ebola cases. The government also reportedly suspended the residency training programme in federal hospitals, citing the need to better address challenges currently facing the health sector. 

The move comes as thousands of doctors are on strike throughout the country, calling for better working conditions and increased pay. The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Friday demanded the immediate reversal of Johnathan's decision, and encouraged those affected not to pick up their termination letters. 

Online, many in Nigeria expressed concern over what the sacking meant for the country as it battles Ebola, with 11 cases confirmed so far.