By Asmau Ahmad
The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has appealed to the federal and state governments to increase investment in nurses and midwives for improved healthcare delivery.
Mr Olurotimi Awojide, Lagos State Chairman, NANNM, made the appeal during the association’s annual scientific conference on Wednesday in Lagos.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Invest in Nursing and Respect the Rights to Secure Global Health.”
Awojide said that investing in nurses and midwives was good value for money, noting that lack of adequate investment in Nigerian nurses was leading to migration of workers in the profession.
He quoted the UN High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth Report as saying that investments in health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security and inclusive economic growth.
“Nurses are usually overworked, undervalued, and underpaid and thus the reason many of our colleagues are leaving the country in their hundreds.
“Between 2019 and mid-2022, at least 4,460 nurses migrated from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, an increase of 68.4 per cent from 2,790 in March 2017 to 7,256 in March 2022,” he said.
Awojide said that measures such as incentives to become a nurse and remain in the profession, continuous and specialised training, low interest loans for housing and tax incentives would motivate nurses.
He appealed to the Federal Ministry of Health to review some of the policies that are impeding progress in the health sector.
Awojide noted that quackery in the profession was a menace that discredited nursing education and soiled the reputation of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
The chairman added that the greed of private healthcare practitioners who want to make mega-profits through the use of cheap labour was responsible for the proliferation of quacks.
He said that concerted efforts were in place to address the challenge of quackery.
Awojide said that nurses would continue to provide patient centred care that was safe, timely, effective, efficient and equitable for the benefit of society.