By Hassan Zaggi
The shortage of nurses and midwives is currently affecting health services in hospitals across the country, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), has cried out.
The Association has therefore, called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit more nurses and midwives to fill the vacant spaces created by those who have retired.
Speaking at an outreach programme organized by the NANNM to celebrate the International Day of Nurses and Midwives, at Dutse Alhaji Market, in Abuja,NANNM National Vice President, Mrs Mercy Azonwu said: “We are pleading with the federal government to retool the current employment policy as far as nurses and midwives are concerned.
“If you check the hospitals in Nigeria today, the midwives are not many. A lot of midwives are retired and are no longer in the system.
“How can there be a decrease in Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality rates when the hospitals are short of midwives? The government is not employing personnel to fill the existing gaps, and there are also inadequate facilities for the overworked few to deploy in discharging their duties maximally. When these essentials are not in place, it will impact on the morbidity and mortality rate of women during childbirth.”
On her part, the Chairperson of NANNM (FCT Chapter), Comrade Deborah Yusuf, said it is unbelievable that while Nigeria boasts of a huge supply of trained nurses and midwives, a majority of them are unemployed and unable to contribute in the provision of care to those in need at the hospitals.
She noted that the health outreach was not only to highlight the manpower gaps in public hospitals but also to provide medical care to those in need, especially the underprivileged.
“We are here to celebrate the nurses and midwives week, a day set aside to celebrate nurses and midwives all over the world.
“And as we usually do, we seize this opportunity to give back to the society.
“We are therefore here to assist the women, to carry out free tests of cases like malaria fever, high blood pressure and also help them with pregnancy issues.”