Health workers urge FG to support nurses through COVID-19

 Adeniji Alani, President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), has called on Federal Government to support the nurses through this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond to enhance health care services.

Alani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the health workers needed the support to discharge their duties effectively.

According to him, federal government should yield to the call from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to governments globally to support the nursing workforce.

WHO has declared 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and the year is significant for the agency in the context of strengthening nursing and midwifery for Universal Health Coverage.

In addition, Alani called for federal government’s collaboration to address issues of quackery in the nursing profession, saying “ there is an urgent need to put machineries in place to end quackery in the sector.

”There must be an end to quackery, systematic and assisted quackery, as quackery knows no limit.

“The issue of quackery in the nursing profession could be one of the factors responsible for the high maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.’’

He also urged the government to look into the ageing workforce in the profession and recruit more nurses to boost the workforce.

”Also, there is a need to look into legislation and policies for right placement of nurses to meet the health and developmental goals.

”I plead with the government to understand that primary health care is the way to enter the health care in the country and health workers are trained to work in the Health Care Development Authority.

”So, we want to call for substantive legislation to put an end to systematic, assisted quackery in the nursing profession,’’ he emphasised.

Recall that the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria Registration Act Cap N143, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, gives powers to the association to challenge quackery and to enforce the standards of nursing and midwifery education and practice in the country.

According to him, the association is already working with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) to address some of the challenges members were faced with.

”The association is in the forefront of negotiating with government on condition of service, interfacing with FMoH on those matters and other issues of importance.

”They should empower nurses to be part of policy formulation; as we are talking, the FMH has almost 60 Directors and it is tiling toward one profession in management level.

”Those that are directors who are nurses and midwives in the ministry are not allowed to participate at the top management level.

”They should correct this and we are working with the ministry to correct that,’’ he said (NAN)