The Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Plateau State Chapter, Mrs Briskila Dabit, on Friday, lamented the shortage of nurses and midwives in state, saying, it requires well over 1,000 nurses in the health sector to augment its efficiency.
Dabit stated this while addressing reporters in Jos as part of celebration of the 2020 International Year of Nurses and Midwives, lamented the work pressure on nurses in the state.
“As we speak, more than 500 nurses have retired within eight years without any replacement in Plateau, this has put much pressure on the few of us in the health sector.
“The situation in the Local Government Areas is a sorry one because the last time nurses and midwives were employed was in 2006 and many have since phased out, a pointer of the pitiable state of the health sector.
“While we appreciate the effort of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Plateau State for the approval given to Plateau State Specialist Hospital and Hospitals Management Board to employ health workers, the delay in effecting the directive is worrisome,” she noted.
The NANNM Chairman said, “it is on record that over 500 nurses have phased out of the system from 2012 till date with no replacement at all in our rural areas.”
Dabit explained that as the world strives hard towards achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030; it needs additional nine million nurses to complement those already working and the ones that would retire soon.
“As such we call on the government at all levels to give a waiver to health institutions to replace any health worker, particularly nurses that retire, in order to mitigate the gross shortage of this workforce in the health sector,” Dabit said.
She recalled that the United Nations in a statement on Jan. 1, 2020, explained that nurses and midwives were great investment.
Dabit disclosed that the Nursing Report by WHO (2020), noted that nurses and midwives were critical to deliver on the promise of “leaving no one behind,” and the global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to her, “nurses and midwives make a central contribution to national and global targets related to a range of health priorities including universal health coverage, mental health, and non-communicable diseases, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated people centered care.
“No global health agenda can be realized without the concerted and sustained efforts to maximize the contributions of the nursing/midwifery workforce.”
The chairman congratulated nurses and midwives all over the world, and also appreciated the World Health Assembly of which all governments are represented, for designating the Year 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in May 2019.
The Association has also visited CLAPPAI Orphanage Home , Kangkang in Jos South, LGA, of the state, and donated various food items and toiletries worth a million as part of its celebration.