Covid-19: Nurses Association demands 50m as life insurance for members

…Says no member has received Covid-19 hazard allowance

By Hassan Zaggi

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), has demanded for 50 million naira as life insurance for its members who are in the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.

The National President of association, Adeniji Abdulrafiu, disclosed this while responding to questions from journalists, weekend.

Recall that the federal government has proposed to pay 2 million naira to the family of any nurse who died in the course the fight against Covid-19.

The NANNM President further revealed that since the beginning of the fight against Covid-19 till date, no single nurse in the country has been paid a kobo as hazard allowance.

At an event to mark the climax of the International Nurses Week in Abuja, Abdulrafiu called on the President Mohammadu Buhari-led federal government and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, to be transparent in handling issues that concern health workers in the country.

Responding to a question on the hazard allowance, the NANNM President, said: “On hazard allowance, our proposal to the federal government is that life cannot be quantified in monetary terms. Our proposal is that our people should be given within 20 to 50 million naira as life insurance for the family of an individual to be able to take care of its members.”

While reiterating that since the inception of the Covid-19 war in the country, nurses have not been paid anything, Abdulrafiu, said: “The agreement was signed barely three weeks ago, till now the thing is yet to hit the stand.

“I am aware, when they wanted to deduct salary from health workers, it did not take them one week when they got it done.

“It has not been paid. The federal government only did lips service that they will impress on the Governors Forum at the state level. Most of the states are just doing abrakadabra, only few states are doing something good.

“You can even see some states who are deducting from health workers’ salaries. Whenever other ministries are closed, our people are on the field.”

While insisting that nurses bear the highest risk in the fight against Covid-19, the NANNM president said that more than 250 of his members have been infected by the disease, apart from those who are currently at the isolation centres.

He further revealed that out of the 15 medical and health workers that have died as a result of the Covid-19, six were nurses.

Abdulrafiu, therefore, called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, “direct the Federal Ministry of Health to release without further delay the withheld salary of our members in the Federal Health Institutions; formulate policies that will reduce disharmony within health care professionals by ensuring justice and equity in health sector and provide modern equipment, infrastructure, and adopt modern IC in health sector to improve Nigeria health sector performances, and learn from the lesson of Covid 19 that nowhere is better than our own indigenous health care system.”

Other demands put forward by the group, included the review of all salaries and emoluments of its members along with others on COHENSS salary scale for the spirit of fair play and equity and that the department of Nursing should be given a full fledge Director and enhance nursing services in Nigeria, among many others.

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