The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has pleaded with government at all levels to prioritise security of its members across the country in order to ensure quality nursing care.
Mrs Margaret Akinsola, Vice President 1 of the association, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja in commemoration of the International Nurses Week.
Akinsola emphasised that security of nurses and midwives was key in the realisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
NAN reports that the International Nurses Week is commemorated annually from May 6 to May 12 to raise awareness on the importance of nurses in healthcare delivery.
The theme for 2019 is: “Nurses, a voice to lead: Health for all”.
Akinsola, who identified insecurity as a major challenge bedeviled the profession, noted that the situation cuts across the North, South, East and West thereby posing a threat to their members and hindering efficient and quality healthcare services.
He said, “If UHC is really anything to be achieved in this country, security of our lives is very important.
“Our lives are so unsecured in certain areas across the country and government should provide enough security for nurses and midwives.
“Our members, especially those in rural areas do not have free access to their practices due to bad road and obsolete or lack of hospital equipment, that will enhance our effective service delivery,” Akinsola said.
She, however, urged the government to rehabilitate all hospitals across the country both rural and urban and equip them with standard equipment and consumables.
According to her, this will go a long way to guarantee efficient and quality healthcare service as well as health for all.
“The exodus of our nurses to other countries are due to insecurity and lack of recognition and proper remuneration.
“If our health system is improved majority of our nurses practicing abroad will be encouraged and willing to come back and contribute their quota to the development of the nation,” she said.
Akinsola explained that the thrust of UHC is easy access to available, affordable and quality healthcare, adding that presently most people, especially those at the remote villages across the country lack healthcare facilities.
Speaking on the theme, she explained that nurses help to advocate for the consumers of their service.
“Talking about nurses: A voice to lead, health for all’’, definitely we are looking at how nurses can make sure that health for all, which is the component of UHC, is achieved by the nurses globally and by the government of all countries in the world.
“Advocacy to investors, government and policymakers in making sure that there is access to affordable healthcare for various communities,” Akinsola said.
She, however, promised that the association would continue in its advocacy drive to ensure investors and government prioritise the health of Nigerian masses.