We Are Underpaid, Understaffed, Nurses Tell Soludo

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

…Want Improved Remuneration, Working Condition

The members of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Anambra State Council, have called on the governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to intervene in their matter and offer them a better welfare package, saying that poor remuneration and lack of manpower have dealt a serious blow to the organization.

Addressing newsmen in Awka as part of the activities lined up to mark this year’s International Nurses Week, themed, “Nurses; a voice to lead-invest in Nursing and Respect the Right to Global Health”, the chairman of NANNM/JPSNC, Mrs Edith Onwuka, regretted that shortage of their members in both general hospitals and primary healthcare centres had negatively affected health care delivery in the state.

She appealed to Governor Chukwuma Soludo to invest in nursing to ensure quality health care delivery to make the creation of a livable homeland for the state a reality.

NANNM’s Anambra State boss also called for a review of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), which it noted, had suffered poor implementation in the state.

Her words, ‘Nurses and midwives, being promoters of health, show appreciation with your move in cleaning Okpoko which had always been the epicentre for disease outbreak due to environmental insults and degradation.

‘We have also seen your commitment in cleaning up the rest of the cities which we commend in a special way as it will reduce disease outbreaks like cholera, diarrhea, measles, among others.

‘We wish to appeal to Mr Governor, to look into the issues affecting nurses, especially now that he is taking stock of challenges in different ministries, MDA’s and parastatals.

‘Poor remuneration of nurses and midwives has led to mass migration of highly qualified nurses to either federal health institutions or outside the country in search for greener pastures.

‘This has affected the healthcare delivery adversely as the small number of nurses that remain are overwhelmed by work in our hospitals.

‘It is important to review the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) which has not been properly implemented in the state; the said CONHESS 60% is on paper but not properly and fully reflected in the implementation.

‘We humbly request for not only the full implementation of 60% CONHESS but an upward review to 100% CONHESS for nurses in the state and local government (PHCs).

‘Shortage of nurses and midwives in both general hospitals and primary health care centers; this gross shortage affects the health care delivery with attendant negative consequences.

‘Implementation of a new hazard allowance (N32, 000) per nurse was recently reviewed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic,’ she concluded.