By Abujah Racheal
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has called on the Federal Government for a special salary for members to meet the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals.
The association’s National President, Micheal Nnachi, made the call at the second day event to mark the 2021 International Nurses Week on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Week, which starts on May 6 every year will end on May 12.
It is to observe and spread awareness about the work of nurses around the world.
The theme of the week is: “Frontline Warriors”.
The annual event ends with the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820 – Aug. 13, 1910).
Nightingale, a British nurse, statistician, and social reformer was the foundational philosopher of modern nursing.
Nnachi said that nurses and other medical workers had worked in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing support to millions of Nigerians across the country.
He said that it was important to note that nurses and midwives constituted the bedrock of the Nigeria’s healthcare system.
“In spite of the passion and sacrifices of nurses and midwives in the delivery of quality health care, they have continued to face a lot of challenges.
“Recently, we have become endangered species.
“Almost every day, we are faced with all forms of victimization. A nurse was kidnapped, alongside a medical doctor.
“And after payment of ransom they were released in Kaduna State,” he said.
According to him, the challenge of heavy work load still abound, poor welfare leading to brain drain.
Nnachi stressed that it was important that they were cared for and motivated because they had been exposed to huge risks such as managing the COVID-19 pandemic scourge.
“If the health sector is properly equipped and nurses are properly taken care of, then Nigerians can be served better.
“Nurses have demanded for a scheme of service for a long time yet no result.
“Nurses attend to several patients beyond the required work hour and often humiliated when mistake occur due to huge work pressure,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to address the issue of insurance for nurses.
“If the issues of insurance is put to function it can help the incidence of disease risks while on duty,” he said.
Nnachi pledged nurses’ commitment to the service of humanity, adding that since nurses care, they deserved to be cared for.
Mrs Veronica Okolo, Director Nursing, Federal Ministry of Health said nurses and midwives had been relentless in the service to humanity in spite of poor remuneration.
Okolo lauded Nigerian nurses for being outstanding within and outside the country. (NAN)
•PHOTO: NANNM National President Micheal Nnachi