The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NNNNM) has called for urgent recruitment of nurses and midwives in health facilities across the country.
The association made the appeal in a statement after a medical outreach at Dutse Alhaji, Bwari Area Council of FCT, as part of activities to commemorate the International Nurses Week scheduled from May 6 to May 12.
The statesment made available the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, was signed by Mrs Mercy Azonwu, the National Vice President of NNNNM.
Azonwu attributed inadequacy of nurses and midwives in health facilities as contributing factor to the rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.
She also urged government to urgently recruit more caregivers in public hospitals “to reduce the 6.7 per cent infant mortality rate” in the country, among others.
Azonwu also pleaded with the Federal Government to revise the current employment policy as far as nurses and midwives were concerned.
“If you check the hospitals in Nigeria today, the midwives are not many. A lot of midwives are retired and are no longer in the system.
“Considering the shortage of nurses and midwives in hospitals across the country there can never be a decrease in Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality rate.
“Government is not employing personnel to fill the existing gaps, and there are also inadequate facilities and equipment for the overworked few professionals to maximally discharge their duties.
“When these essentials are not in place, it will impact on the morbidity and mortality rate of women during childbirth,” she noted.
NNN reports that the International Nurses’ week for 2019 has as its theme as: “Nurses: The heartbeat of healthcare”.
Similarly, Madam Deborah Yusuf, Chairperson of NNNNM, FCT Chapter, explained that the health outreach was to highlight the manpower gaps in public hospitals and provide medical care to those in need, especially the underprivileged.
According to her, the outreach includes the administration of various tests on pregnant women, dispensing of free drugs to beneficiaries and the referral of complicated cases to relevant hospitals for further treatments.