Nurses and Midwives at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, on Wednesday staged a one-day peaceful protest to demand the non-payment of their teaching allowances by the Federal Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest was a directive from the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) to all Federal Health Institutions in the country.
NAN also reports that the protest was led by the NANNM executive, while nurses were also seen singing and carrying placards around the premises.
The placards with various inscriptions read; “Federal Ministry of Health pay us our teaching allowance’’, “Stop stagnation’’, “Nurses are professionals that should be respected and not treated as slaves.’’
Mrs Yemisi Adelaja, Chairman of the association, LUTH chapter told newsmen in Lagos that the protest was to again bring to the attention of the Federal Government the plight and suffering of Nigerian nurses.
According to Adelaja, the deteriorating state of infrastructure, non availability of adequate medical consumables are situations that have progressively gone worse in recent times.
He listed some of their demands to include discriminatory and selective implementation of policies by the Federal Ministry of Health on career progression for nurses and midwives.
“Most of our health institutions today operate a nurse-patient ratio of one to 15 as against the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of one to four.
“Inadequate manpower and dearth of highly skilled nurses specialist has greatly affected our clinical outputs and nurses health.
“If the workload is on the nurses, it will definitely affect the patient’s health, because most times this affects the attitude of nurses due to pressure.
“There are also cases of non-payment of promotion arrears and recommendation of teaching allowances of members on CONHESS seven to eight by most Medical Directors,’’ she said.
The chairman, however, called on the Federal Government to prevail on the Federal Ministry of Health, its allies in the Federal Ministry of Labour and the IPPIS office to intervene.
She said that their intervention would spare the country another round of industrial action which was capable of affecting the nation’s health sector.
Mrs Fatima Shittu, the Secretary of the association, also called on the Federal Government to release all allocations meant for equipment and consumables, as this was becoming a major challenge.
“Government should ensure that they monitor how money allocated to the ministry of health is being disbursed.
“If funds are judiciously managed, our nation will become the centre of medical tourism and will take its right of place among the comity of nations on healthcare delivery,’’ she said.