By: Ade Adeleke
The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), the Ondo State Chapter has expressed concern over shortage of manpower in the health sector of the state, calling on the state government to put machineries in place to employ more nurses.
In a swift reaction on the occasion, the State Head of Service, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye said the state government would soon put in place measures of tackling shortage of nurses in the state by employing more health personnel.
The State Chairman of the Association, Comrade Abel Oloniyo disclosed this on Thursday during the annual Nurses’ Week Celebration, with a theme: “NURSES: A VOICE TO LEAD : HEALTH FOR ALL”.
Oloniyo, “the way nurses are retiring in recent time is at alarming rate, the availability of nurses is not just there, except now that more schools are coming up with nursing course.”
The Chairman said, “a ward that supposed to be manned by like five or six nurses, one or two nurses are doing the job in our hospitals, hopefully if the resources of the state increases there will be engagement of more nurses.”
Oloniyo expressed satisfaction with the recent assimilation of the state School of Nursing, Akure by the Ondo state University of Medical Sciences, Ondo (UNIMED) to make the school a degree awarding institution.
The Union Leader also appealed to the State Government on the need to domesticate the unified scheme of service for nurses which will allow members of the profession attain the peak of their career.
Oloniyo said the need for government to implement the unified scheme which came into being two years ago just as he reaffirmed the need to employ more Nurses into health facilities in order to achieve health for all.
According to him, Nurses are in short supply in government health facilities as a nurse is made to man a ward which naturally should be manned by six Nurses.
“There is a dire Shortage of Nurses and Midwives in the State especially at the primary healthcare level which remains the foundation of any healthcare system. Nurses and Midwives who are retiring are not been replaced and those in service are been stretch to braking point. To effectively deliver quality healthcare, adequate manpower must be available and nurses represent a large chunk of the workforce within the healthcare system.”
Oloniyo said, “we are requesting the Government to immediately employ Nurses and Midwives to maintain the impressive indices the state has been recording. Our members can no longer be subsidizing healthcare with their lives and health.”
He opined that, “domestication of the Federal Circular on Unified Scheme of Service and Internship. The leadership is passionately requesting the Government to domesticate the Uniiied scheme of the Service approved for Nurses and Midwives at the 2016 National Council of Establishment Meeting in Minna, Niger state.”
The NANNM Chairman who said the annual Nurses’ week was set aside to celebrate Nurses and Midwives for their invaluable contributions to global health further commended members of the profession for dutifully discharging their duties in the face of challenges saying their sacrifices is acknowledged.
While commending the Ondo State Government for being the first to key into educational reform in the sector by subsuming Ondo State School of Nursing into University of Medical Sciences, Oloniyi also acknowledged the significance of the contributory health scheme saying it is laudable.
On the issue of security, Oloniyi emphasized the need to adopt the recommendations of the security summit held earlier in the state saying health workers have become easy targets of such mishap.
In an interview with journalists, Comrade Bolanle Oke, the Vice Chairman of the association listed some of the factors causing shortage of nurses to include mass retirement, brain drain, greener pasture abroad as well as nonavailability of qualified nurses in the country.
Oke noted that nurses are moving out of the country for greener pastures, thus the need for government to take steps to reverse the trend by making the work environment conducive.
In his remarks, the Head of Service of Ondo State, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye appreciated the roles of Nurses in the state while also urging them to join the crusade by taking government’s programme to the people at the grassroots.
Mr. Aragbaiye who noted that the state government is in the process of employing more Nurses also assured them that steps are being taken on the issue of unification scale.
Aragbaiye said, “this is not the first time, this is arising because one, many nurses retired, many also join other agencies, federal and other organisations in and out of the state. We are in the process of taking (employing) more nurses, so is not a new thing as government is making efforts.”
“The scheme of service issue is already on our table, we are going to take action it very soon,” HOS said.
Earlier in her address, the chairman of the occasion, Mrs. Module Leshaodo affirmed the crucial roles of Nurses in healthcare delivering, tasking members of the Association to remain committed to their duties.
The event also featured technical papers presentation by health experts on nurses related issues.