The chairman of the Lagos branch of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Olurotimi Awojide, has condemned what he called the acute shortage of nurses and midwives at Lagos State-owned hospitals.
He lamented that the mass exodus of their members due to poor working conditions and remuneration packages has astronomically increased the workload of those still within the system.
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Citing the records of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) at a press conference on Tuesday, Awojide said more than 7000 nurses had left the country this year alone.
He said, “Ideally, a nurse should care for four patients but what we have in our various hospitals is that we have a situation whereby a nurse is in charge of 16 patients, and in some places, we have one nurse caring for up to 25 patients. At times, there will be one nurse taking care of all the patients in a 20-bedded ward.
“So, there is no way the best professional care can be given to patients because you need to monitor them to make sure things are going well as expected.”
Awojide said there were some local government areas in the state with less than 20 nurses while some Primary Healthcare Centres had only two nurses expected to be on morning and night duties.
“Many of our members are in wheelchairs now as a result of work hazards because some of them end up lifting patients and their backs are affected. The government is not employing as expected and it’s affecting us,” he lamented.
The secretary of the NMCN, Oloruntoba Odumosu, also called for upgrade of infrastructure, replacement of obsolete hospital equipment and adequate provision of consumables at public health facilities in the state.