With population of over 200 million people, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has raised the alarm that 125, 000 being the number of registered Nurses servicing the health needs of such population is insufficient and needs urgent increment.
NANNM President, Abdulrafiu Adeniji, who disclosed the information at the 7th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, attributed the development to the increasing exodus of registered and qualified Nurses out of Nigeria for “greener pastures” abroad.
He laments: “Nigeria is faced with inadequate manpower as regards Nurses. As we are producing them, some countries of the world are already waiting by the corner, luring them with good packages and conducive working environment.
“Similarly, many registered ones with years of experience are retiring on daily basis and there is no immediate replacement plan. Nigeria with a population of 200 million ought to have 800, 000 active and registered Nurses servicing the health needs of the people. Unfortunately, our database indicated that we have about 125, 000 registered Nurses working in Nigeria. How can they do the work of expected 800, 000 Nurses in Nigeria.
“Not only that, the Nursing education in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. Many Proprietors and institutions are inadequately funded, thus making the production of Nurses and Midwives in Nigeria obviously at the lowest end. The ravaging COVID-19 pandemic further worsened the situation and has greatly affected us in many phases.
“Federal Government must acknowledge that Nurses are the soliders in the fight against COVID-19. Because we have a contract not only with the Federal Government of Nigeria but to God and Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in his remarks, appreciated the contributions of Nurses and Midwives to the health care services in Nigeria, particularly as regards COVID-19 pandemic.
He reassured them of continuous industrial support particularly as regards welfare packages and other agitations that would strengthen the profession.
He said: “The success achieved so far in the fight against COVID-19 was dependent on nursing care. Nurses are basically the authorities in the nursing services. They have remained frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, and they have ensured that casualties are not as much as expected.”