As part of the activities to mark the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife for 2020, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has launched the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign – an initiative aimed at raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide.
Speaking at the occasion, His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire lauded the theme of the launch, describing it as ‘fitting’ because it highlights the link between the core aspects and emphasizes on the need for nurses to be involved in decision making for the development of the health care system in Nigeria. Mr. President pointed out that this was justifiable because “nurses are integral part of the group with potentials to shape the image of their facility and even the healthcare profession.
Whilst reiterating the priority, Federal Government places on the health of citizens as a cornerstone of human development, declaration of 2020 as the international year of the Nurses and Midwives would afford members of the profession within the country and abroad, a better vision that would reshape the profession in the new age.
The Head of Civil service of the Federation, Dr. Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan who was represented by Mrs. Ibiene Robert a director in her office, informed that these unsung heroes are as responsible as Doctors for our lives, and whether you recover well from a serious injury or illness, depends as much on the skill of your nurse as the doctor. This is so in view of the fact that one is entrusted in the care of nurses from the moment one is admitted to the hospital. They are constant companions of doctors, acting as eyes and ears for the doctor and keeping them up to date with the patients’ progress, she explained.
She stated that members of this very strategic profession should be given more seats in policy making in the health sector as this is fundamental in ensuring better health service delivery, empowerment of women and strengthen the economy. She called for the cooperation and collaboration of all the stakeholders at the event to come up with a communique’ that will promote effective and efficient service delivery in the nursing profession, through their increased involvement in the policy development and planning in a way that will promote adequate motivation and recognition in the health sector. “I call on nurses, midwives and all health care professionals to work together to protect and restore, where need be the health of Nigeria” she urged.
Speaking, the Director of Nursing Services of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Veronica Okolo in her welcome speech, disclosed that “Nursing now” is a worldwide campaign that is administered by the Burdett Trust foundation supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN). She stated that the campaign builds on the ‘triple impact report by all Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health (APPCG).The triple impact of nursing report emphasized that to successfully provide Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a strong global nursing presence is required.
In addition to the global position statements for a Nurse/Midwife- PHC system in all WHO member states, nurses are expected to contribute to health nationally and internationally through management and leadership roles at all levels and through direct engagement and advocacy as well as provision of equal opportunities, and preparation for management policy and development, and leadership as other profession in the health sector. She therefore, encouraged government to expedite action to expand the Midwifery Service Scheme (MSS) in order to improve the maternal and child health at Primary Health Care level.
She solicited for the reliable support of Grand Ambassadors and other ambassadors as well as stakeholders in resolving these obstacles while sincerely recommitting Nurses and Midwives to provision of excellent high quality evidence – based Care at all levels especially Primary Health Care as well as urging its members to do everything within their power and legally right to move their amiable/ notable profession to a place Florence Nightingale envisions.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe pledged to use the campaign to support the review of the Act establishing Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and make it more stringent.
The Officer- in -charge WHO, Dr. Clement Peter, commended the role of the nurses and midwives in saving lives as well as their socio-economic importance. Other health stakeholders like Comrade Wabba Ayuba, President, Nigerian Labour Congress also graced the occasion.