We are working under fear, we may down tools in 48hours —Ondo Nurses

By: Oluwatosin Adesola

……..Angry Nurses say they are in danger with their Family.

Nurses in Ondo state are now staging a peaceful protest and down tools at the State Mother & Child Hospital, Akure following a spike in the cases of coronavirus among health workers without efforts by government to carry out contact tracing of infected persons.

Similarly SUNSHINETRUTH learnt that workers at the State Neuropsychiatric hospital, Akure have stopped coming to work as a result of the same problem.

Over 10 nurses and five doctors with other health workers have contracted the deadly COVID-19 in the state in the last one week.

The State Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Kehinde Nomiye and Another Nurse, Mrs Tayo Imorua who is also a Union leader, said the protest was sparked by failure of the state government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to carry out contact tracing of the infected doctor and nurse at the mother and child hospital, Akure more than 98hrs after the incident was detected.

While giving the state government 48 hours to yield to their demands, Comrade Nomiye threatened to withdraw services of his members from the hospitals.

Comrade Nomiye opined that, “We are protesting because our welfare as a nurse in this facility are not been taken care of, particular when there was a COVID-19 confirmed case since Friday, the NCDC and the state government have not deem it fit to visit the hospital to start the contact tracing of the case.

“They expect us to be calm and to continue to work without trying to trace those who had contact with the patient in the facility.

“The same thing happened at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital here in Akure and it is trickling in the some of our nurses will also be move to the place. With a nurse to about 20 to 50 patients, if one is infected which has been established now with the reported case here.

“This is not the issue of money but the issue of management structure to assuage the nurses and to give them the best information, so that they can carry out their services.

“If they are not forthcoming after this protest, we give them 42 hours and if nothing is done we will embark on sit down strike.

“Other hospitals in Ondo State are on alert now because we have COVID-19 monitoring group in all the hospitals,” Nomiye said.

Mrs Tayo Imorua said, “a doctor tested positive for COVID-19 here on Friday and some nurses had primary contact with her. It is now 96 hours after the discovery of the case and we are yet to see the NCDC. Even the management is yet to address us as regards the case.

“Most of our members are now leaving in fear and that is why we want to let them know that we can’t continue to live in fear. We go to work everyday and the go back to our families at home, we don’t know what is going to happen.

“We are not politicians. We are professional nurses. What we want from government is for them to come, trace the primary and secondary contacts because this place is huge and we all mingle with ourselves and we are not sure who have had contact with the primary contact.

“We want NCDC, government and all the necessary machinery to come here and do the needful,” Imorua said.

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