Nigeria Nurses, Midwives Association decries increasing assaults on members handling COVID-19 cases
Says over 2000 Nigerian Health care professionals tested positive to COVID-19, 15 dead
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has decried the increased assaults on the Nurses and Midwives handling Covid-19 cases in different isolation centres across the country.
NANNM lamented that over two thousand Nigerian Health care professionals especially Nurses and Doctors have tested positive to COVID-19 while about fifteen health care professionals have lost their lives.
Speaking at the event to mark the 2020 Nurses and Midwives day yesterday in Abuja, President of the association, Comrade Abdurafiu Alanis Adeniji noted that hazards being confronted by Nurses and Midwives are enormous adding that they are being unduly exposed to this virus by some Covid-19 patients who hide their medical/travel history as well as non-disclosure of contact with an infected individual when patient and relative present at the health care facilities.
Adeniji said that from the statistics as received through NANNM COVID – 19 Situation Report Room, almost one thousand Nurses and Midwives have been exposed to Corona Virus, out which about 200 are currently on isolation and about 70 out of about 600 that have been tested have tested positive.
He noted about five nurses and midwives have lost their lives adding that the health care system in the country appears to have been overstretched and on the verge of being overwhelmed.
Adeniji observed that WHO prescription is 40 nurses per 100,000 population but Nigeria is operating 5-6 nurse to 100,000 populations stressing that the current situation provides an unusual opportunity for commitment and increase investment on nursing and midwifery profession, need for synergy between the Government, Professional Association, Traditional Institutions, Religious Institutions, Civil Society Organizations and Private bodies to galvanize efforts in finding lasting solutions to COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to him, “There are pieces of evidence of lack of adequate awareness and knowledge of the nature and transmission of COVID-19 disease, there is equally lack of adequate knowledge on the use of PPE and sometimes infectious diseases principle and protocol are been violated by some health care frontline professionals.
He said, “These further exposes frontline health care professionals to infections particularly COVID-19, in our resource constraint society. However, the impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian Nurses and Midwives cannot be overemphasized amidst the tension, insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), anxiety, inadequate provision of medical consumables and few life support equipment, absent of life insurance and the problem of transportation in some instances”.
Observed that the impact of COVID-19 further worsens the tremendous hardship caused by the insurgency, civil unrest, poverty, illiteracy, high disease burden, criminal activities, famine, civil disturbance, occasional break down of law and order, burglary and other criminal activities in the communities.
Adeniji stressed that Nurses and Midwives have many roles as they provide and manage personal care and treatment, work with families and communities, and play vital/pivotal roles in the health care system worldwide.
“Nurses are an integral part of health care system who have the potential to shape the image of health care delivery at all level when supported and empowered. The NANNM”s role is to: protect the health and wellbeing of the public, to collaborate with Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria to set and enforce ethics and standards of education, training, conduct and performance so that nurses and midwives can deliver high-quality healthcare consistently throughout their careers, this is our mandate and we shall ensure we realized it. As we all know nurses are believed and well recognized to be compassionate in all their dealings, having sympathy and concerns about others and the willingness to help and also care for them. Men, women, children, family, community, society and the nation as a sacred trust all the services rendered by all nurses and midwives across the globe, we are known as harmless people, who only seek for the betterment of others even if we would prefer to hide our own personal pains and ensure we put smiles on people faces. Nurses and midwives are well endowed with skills and special abilities to safe live, promote health, prevent illness and alleviate suffering, also with a deep sense of dedication, integrity, empathy and humility we deliver our services”.
He urged the Federal government to invest in Human Resource for health by employing more Nurses and Midwives to particularly at the PHC and secondary health facilities as this is essential in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Adeniji equally appealed to President Muhammad Buhari to use His good office to look into the request of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives and direct the FMoH to release without further delay the withheld salary of our members in the Federal Health Institutions and to formulate policies that will reduce disharmony within health care professionals by ensuring justice and equity in the health sector, review all salaries and emoluments of our members along with others on COHENSS salary scale for the spirit of fair play and equity and publish and fully implement the Nurses Unified Scheme of service and correct the anomaly on the entry point of BNSc degree holders in line with their colleagues with the same number of years in the Universities. It is equally pertinent to adjust the entry point of nurse interns
“We have been marginalized for so long by depriving us the department of Nursing with a full-fledge Director and enhance nursing services in Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Health, Head of Civil Services of the Federation, Federal and Civil Service Commission to obey the laws and circulars issued and endorsed by them in allowing Nurse specialist tom operate according to their scheme of service. Public Health Nurses, Midwives, Nurses”, he added.
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