PresidentMuhammadu Buhari, has vowed that his government will continue to support thedevelopment of the Nursing and Midwifery profession in the country.
Speaking atthe official launch of the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign in Abuja, the Presidentreiterated that Nurses are an integral group inhealth care delivery, who, according to him, have the potential to shape the imageof their facility or the healthcare profession in general.
“NursingNow” Nigeria campaign, aninitiative of the World Health Organization (WHO)and the International Council of Nurses (ICN),is aimed at raising theprofile and status of nurses and to ensure that they are involvedin decision making processes.
Representedby the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, President Buhari, charged Nursesand Midwives to remain faithful to the key values of their profession.
He,therefore, called on nurses, midwives and all healthcare professionals, to worktogether to protect and restore the health of Nigerians.
ThePresident reiterated that: “This administration places priority on the healthof citizens as a cornerstone of human capital development andwill continue to ensure that healthcare is always positioned as a focus of ournext level agenda.
“This administration initiated the Basic Health CareProvision Fund (BHCPF), a flagship programme to ensure that vulnerableNigerians get access to quality and affordable service delivery towards theattainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“I am pleasedto say we have made good progress with the programme, with our commitment nowattracting support from donors and development partners.”
On hispart, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NCL),Ayuba Wabba, called on the federal government to remove what he described asthe regulatory barriers to the upward mobility of nurses and midwives in thehealthcare system.
He regretted that many nurses and midwives haveremained stagnant in their career progression despite attaining Doctoral andProfessorial status in key areas of specialisation.
Speaking, the President of the National Associationof Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Rafiu Adeniji, lamented thatshortage of manpower, inadequate training institutions, and insecurity as partof the challenges hindering the effective practice of nursing and midwifery inthe country.
He said: “In most hospitals, when there areterror attacks, nurses are the first victims. Many abducted nurses and midwivesare still held captives by terrorists and bandits, but focus is not placed onthem.
“While we lament shortage of manpower, thereis no doubt that attacks on health facilities negatively impacts the morale ofnurses and midwives.”
The campaign hasfive pillars which include “ensuring that nurses andmidwives have a more prominent voice in health policymaking; encouraginggreater investment in the nursing workforce; recruitingmore nurses into leadership positions; conductingresearch that helps determine where nurses can have the greatest impact; and sharing ofbest nursing practices.”