From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has lamented what it described as “incessant attacks” by patients families, on nurses while carrying out their responsibilities.
Speaking during a two-day conference to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day, NANNM president, Mr Michael Nnachi also called for an end to all forms of gender discrimination and violence at places of work, especially those targeted at women.
He said the international women’s day is an opportunity for women to speak against discrimination and gender violence both at home an at work places.
Speaking on the role of nurses in the fight against COVID-19, Nnachi stressed that as frontline workers, nurses put themselves at risk and have played strategic roles in tackling the virus.
He went on explain that nurses are being attacked and sometimes not well appreciated. He said: “In terms of security, our nurses face a lot of violence which ordinarily should not be. We had an incident at FMC Owo, where a nurse was beaten and left with fractures. What happend was that a patient died in the hospital, not because of the nurse. But suddenly a relation for no reason attacked the nurse to the extent of beating her down to coma. And these are the things nurses and wildfires experience in the area of clinical services
“When there is emergency, there is anxiety and I know that no nurse has ever hesitated to attend to any emergency. And in such periods, we notice that most people will put them under pressure in such a way that if not that nurses have been trained to be very stable and competent in their work, sometimes other things may happen. But they always stand their ground to make sure that nothing happen.”
He explained that nurses and midwives are the major component of the frontline healthcare and have played key roles in the fight against Covid-19. Also speaking, general secretary of NANNM, Shettima Thomas Ahmed said it is important to see the role of the frontline healthcare workers, and the strategic position they occupy in the health sector.
He lamented that equipments to enable the nurses carry out their responsibilities are not available and those that are available are obsolete. He therefore charged both Federal, State governments to pay serious attentions to providing more attention to providing the needed infrastructure.
He said, if you look at the number of nurses, we are in in gross shortage of nurses. The condition of service of nurses here lead to brain drain. Many nurses leave the country in search of greener pastures abroad.
“WHO Regulations says it is suppose to be 1 nurse to 4 patients, but you go to some hospitals, a nurse is attending to 20 to 30 patients.”
He called on government to employ more nurses and pay more attention to their welfare.