By Jude Michael

Nurses in Anambra State under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Anambra State Council, are demandinga better welfare package from the state government, decrying poor remuneration and lack of manpower Addressing newsmen in Awka as part of the activities lined up to mark this year’s International Nurses Week, with the theme, “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 creation of a livable homeland for the state a reality. NANNM 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 specially commend as it will reduce disease outbreaks like cholera, diarrhea, measles, etc. ‘We appeal to you to look into the issues affecting nurses, especially now that you are 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 remains 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 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 new hazard allowance (N32000) per nurse which was recently reviewed as result of COVID-19 pandemic,’ she concluded.

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