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Invest in nursing profession to reduce migrationNANNM

by Haruna Gimba

By Zayamu Hassan

The President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Michael Nnachi, has called on the federal government to invest more in the nursing and midwifery profession to reduce the current migration of nurses to developed countries.

He made the call at a media briefing to mark the year 2022 International Nurses and Midwives week in Abuja, on Friday.

He revealed that in the past three years, over 11, 000 nurses have migrated from Nigeria to developed countries of the world.

According to him: “It is obvious that the Nurses are working under terrible conditions and have suffered tremendously through the pandemic, they have suffered setback due to delayed proper grading, attacks, victimization, kidnapping, understaffing/workload, underpaid and undervalued, unpredictable political environment, insecurity, which accounted to 11000 Nurses migrating to developed countries from 2019 to 2022.

“The health facilities need well – trained and motivated workforce consistently available to provide desirable healthcare for better patient outcome.”  

While calling on the government for more investment in the nursing workforce, Mr. Nnachi said: “Invest in Nursing workforce and consider special salary package for Nurses (NSS) to address Brain Drain.

“Employ more Nurses and Midwives to improve workforce so as to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates in the country.”

He called on the Federal Ministry of Health to create a department of Nursing services to allow for expanded professional roles, stressing the need for the involvement of nurses and midwives in policy decision making.

“Provide decent work environment for quality service delivery.

“Ministry of Labour and Employment to release the 2018 withheld April/ May salaries as approved by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, as pronounced in December, 2021, and commence the implementation of hazard allowance as approved in December 2021 by Ministry of Labour and Employment.

“Provide insurance coverage for Nurses and Midwives due to exposure to hazards.

“The Ministry of Health can introduce an initiative of allowing management of facilities to replace retired Nurses and Midwives following retirement without waiting for waivers.

“Leadership in the health sector should be all – inclusive to break the existing supremacy in Nigerian Health Industry.

“FMOH is requested to address the issue of allocation of Intern Nurses,” Mr. Nnachi said. 

He, however, urged nurses and midwives in the country “to adopt professional code of ethics as your daily guide to professional practice in order to meet patient’s satisfaction. Also, to see unity and cohesion as a professional group/arm to fight for Nurses rights in Nigeria. Unity is strength. Let us leverage on our strength.”

Speaking, the 2nd National Vice President of NANNM, Comrade Blessing Israel, called on the government to prioritize investment in midwives.

She insisted that midwives have the capacity to provide 90% of essential sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health care.

While saying that shortage of midwives has made life difficult, Comrade Blessing said: “There is a need-based shortage of 900,000 midwives globally.  Midwives are fundamental in ending preventable death during and after child birth and achieving sustainable development goal SDG 3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages which aim at reduction in global death.”

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