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Patients groan as federal health institutions nurses down tools

Patients have lamented that lack of nurses to attend to them in hospitals has started taking its toll on them. Nurses in all federal health…

Patients have lamented that lack of nurses to attend to them in hospitals has started taking its toll on them.

Nurses in all federal health institutions in the country proceeded on strike yesterday following a directive of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).

The nurses joined other members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) who commenced strike on Wednesday. 

There were no nurses in sight at Accident and Emergency Department and the male and female surgical wards yesterday when this reporter visited the National Hospital, Abuja. 

Solomon Obaje, a patient at the male ward of the hospital said he was admitted on Wednesday only to be told yesterday of the strike by the nurses. 

He said the strike had already started biting hard on patients because earlier that morning some doctors came on ward rounds and had commenced examination on a patient  before they realized that they were attending to the wrong patient as there were no nurses to guide them. 

A woman on admission at the female surgical ward who pleaded anonymity said nurses usually go round to administer medicines and check patients’ blood pressure and temperature but that such was being missed.

A doctor at the Accident and Emergency unit said doctors were already overwhelmed with work, adding that they had cut down the number of people admitted to only critical cases.

Meanwhile nurses working at the hospital also held a rally along with other health workers within the premises yesterday. 

Terver Upu, the chairman of both JOHESU, and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses, National Hospital Branch, said nurses at the hospital had stopped clinical services in compliance  with national directives .

Comrade Deborah Yusuf, Federal Capital Territory Chairperson, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, said, “We suspended the same strike two years back but  nothing has been done to address it till now.”

Chairman of the Federal Health Institutions sector of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Wale Olatunde  said government’s denial of skipping for nurses and  owing them arrears was not fair when it allows same for even students of other professions. 

The National President of the association, Abdrafiu Adeniji had told newsmen on Tuesday that continuous peace and harmony in the health sector could no longer be guaranteed if the Federal Government failed to abide by the various agreements reached since 2012 .

Nurses and health workers at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, joined their counterparts nationwide on an indefinite strike.

Publicity Secretary of FTH chapter of JUHESU, Idris Bello, said all health workers apart from medical doctors downed tools until government meets all their demands.

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