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Nurses demand better work conditions, welfare, as NARD strike persists





Nurses have urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, improve the welfare and working conditions of health workers in the country for improved services.

They made the call on the heels of the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) which has crippled healthcare delivery and access in public hospitals across the country.

The nurses made their demands known at a five-day “Train the Trainer’’ workshop under the National Surgical, Obstetric, Anaesthesia, and Nursing Plan for Nigeria (NSOANP) in partnership with Smile Train in Abuja on Thursday.

Mrs Olubunmi Lawal-Aiyedun, the former President, National Association of Nigerian Pediatric Nurses, said “people are dying; so many things are wrong with the health system.

“I call on government to do the needful, we need to change the narrative and call off the strike.’’

Lawal-Aiyedun, who said that doctors needed to be comfortable to be able to put in their best, added that “it is not easy putting your life on the line daily to ensure the health of others.
“In many hospitals, you find that one nurse is attached to about 30 to 40 patients. There is gross lack of adequate health professionals.’’

She, however, urged nurses to continue to put in their best in delivering a global standard of healthcare.

She said that nurses and midwives used flashlight to take deliveries in some Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs)

“And in some cases where a child is asphyxiated, that is, he or she cannot breathe and needs the aid of medical equipment, such tool is not available.

“In the past, the child is held with the head down and feet up and tapped on the back to get them to breathe

again.Unfortunately, several decades later, this is still being done because the infrastructure and enabling environment are not there.’’

Mrs Blessing Opara, the Assistant Director, Nursing, National Hospital, Abuja, said that the workshop was to freshen the knowledge of nurses in public hospitals to enable them to function optimally.

Opara also said that nurses were working under difficult conditions, saying “instead of nursing four patients, we nurse 20 or more in a shift.

“Manpower is the major challenge that nurses face in providing healthcare today.’’

Mrs Morayo Eboh, a Principal Nursing Officer at Defence Intelligence College, Karu, Abuja, said that the lack of modern equipment was another challenge nurses faced in supporting healthcare delivery.

Eboh, who is also a Critical Care Nurse, called for better communication and collaboration between healthcare professionals and for an end to the protocols that prevent the delivery of emergency healthcare to patients.

She said “you tend to see many nurses improvising due to the lack of medical equipment that should ordinarily be available in health facilities and so they are forced to do the best they can with what is available.

“Synergy and communication among professionals are important when rendering quality care to patients and reducing preventable deaths.

“The process of obtaining a folder during an emergency should be stepped down. I think if we break some of these protocols when it comes to quality care will reduce preventable deaths.’’

Mr Francis Obaje, a Theatre Nurse at Kogi State Specialists Hospital, Lokoja, urged nurses to communicate more with
patients “to change the perception that nurses are heartless and lack passion.

“Let us try to place ourselves in the position of the patients, empathise with them on how they feel, and the new environment they are forced to adjust to.’’

He said that the strike by NARD members had affected the capacity of the healthcare system to deliver care as surgeries among other critical services had reduced or stopped in some facilities.

Mrs Victoria Awazie, the Programme Manager, Smile Train West Africa, said that the workshop was the pilot phase of a collaboration between the organisation and NSOANP for nurses across the 36 states and the FCT.
She said that the training was part of a five-year plan to build the capacity of nurses to improve the quality of care in hospitals.

She added that “when patients come to hospital, their first contacts are nurses. The training will improve the knowledge of nurses on how to deal with patients.

“We are carrying out this training to address the occurrence of sentinel events, that is patients dying in the hospital when aftercare is being administered.

“The training will equip nurses to know what to do when doctors are not available.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in 2019, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) set up NSOANP with a five-year strategic plan to reduce out-of-pocket spending on surgical care by increasing financing.

The plan targets a 35-per cent coverage of surgical care and a health insurance coverage rate of 50 per cent by 2023.

With a 15-per cent increase in budgetary allocation to the health sector by 2023, the Federal Government hopes to strengthen the healthcare system through investment in surgical care to increase productivity.

The NSOANP training was held physically and virtually, with 24 participants in attendance, while about 200 nurses joined virtually. (NAN)

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Shaibu Relocates Office Out Of Edo Govt House



Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu has commenced the relocation of his office to an area outside the vicinity of the Government House.

The development follows last of Shuaibu’s suit filed at the Federal High Court to stop alleged plots by week’s withdrawal   the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to remove him from office.

The new office is situated at No. 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, close to the Government House.

Sources close to the deputy governor said  that a letter was sent by the Head of Service to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor instructing her to supervise the movement of civil servants and files to the new office.

It was also gathered that the new office is not habitable as there is no electricity, is waterlogged, and the office spaces are significantly small.

The state government had however insisted that the deputy governor’s new office is within the confines of the area designated as the Government House.





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Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, other members of the Senate with NARD officials


••• Cancels Planned National Protest

Striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to call off their two week old strike after a closed door meeting with Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday.

Adressing the media shortly after the closed door meeting with President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, National President of the association, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, stated “we had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.

“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.

“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet, he assured.

Speaking in the same vein, Senator Akpabio, thanked the medical doctors for honoring the Senate by calling off their planned national protest and also working towards calling off the strike.

According to him, ” I thank you onbehalf of the Senate for honoring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest, but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.

“Your demands are well noted and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously adress all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.

“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impacts it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” he stated.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (3rd from left), Dr Emeka Innocent Orji (middle) Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Ireti Kingibe (first from right)after a meeting with national officers of NARD in the office the President of the Senate on Tuesday.


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Nigerian-Made Noodles Safe To Eat, Says NAFDAC




The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles manufactured in Nigeria, saying they are safe for consumption.

The confirmation followed the Agency’s investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles or their seasonings.

This was made known by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.

She noted that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings which make them safe for consumption.

The NAFDAC boss also declared that the level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit.

“Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” she stated.

Giving account of how the sampling of the noodles was conducted, she said, “Samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country.

“This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie, the implicated brand.

“The Post Marketing Surveillance Division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.

“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.

“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”

For the sampling, a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received, the NAFDAC DG stated.

The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.





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