By Olabisi Akinbode
Ibadan – The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has called for its inclusion in the formulation of Federal Government’s health policies.
The National President of NANNM, Mr AbdulRauf Adeniji, made the call on Wednesday in Ibadan in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that inclusion of nurses in policy formulations would give the professionals a sense of belonging and lead to improved services in the health sector.
According to Adeniji, there is a lot of unhealthy rivalry within the health sector between major players, adding that this must be stopped before it lead to disruption of activities.
“The health sector is bedeviled with a lot of challenges that we are all living witnesses to. This in-fighting was caused by lack of inclusion of nurses in policy formulations.
“This in-fighting has plagued the sector with all manners of industrial strikes and counter strikes among key players of the health sector.
“This has not allowed the glittering aspect of the health sector to manifest in Nigeria. The federal government has to go back to the drawing board and begin to adjust.
“The role of the nurses is pivotal in the health sector. How can a key player be left out in the scheme of things.
“We understand that health care delivery system entails working in collaboration with others to meet the objectives of giving care.
“We adhere to the rules of relationship in all ramification. So nurses should never be seen as errand persons among health workers,” he said.
The president listed other challenges facing the sector to include: underfunding, lack of infrastructure, salary delays and salary shortfalls and cancellation of training programmes for nurses.
Adeniji also tasked the legislative arm of government on health care laws that would take consumer rights into consideration.
“Consumer right is not adequately protected in Nigeria and healthcare consumers do not see themselves as stakeholders,” he said.
According to Adeniji, nursing has come a long way and nurses should continue to avoid distractions from the good foundation of past nursing heroes.
“They should nurture the foundation of nursing which our predecessors laid and view trends in nursing for innovations and breakthroughs.
“This will be a springboard for the much sort after professional excellence in nursing and midwifery,” he said.