The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM Bayelsa State chapter has lamented the acute shortage of nurses in the state, saying that this has grossly hampered the achievement of the SDGs goal 3 which is the healthcare delivery to the door step of Bayelsans.
State Chairman of NANNM, Comrade Mrs. Sonia Ebealakpo Andabai who disclosed this to newsmen in Yenagoa, said that the rural areas is badly affected.
According to Andabai, the total number of nurses in the state is little above four hundred which is grossly inadequate to meet the health needs of Bayelsans, adding that some hospitals are being run by one nurse while others by two nurses in the state.
She frowned at the inadequate number of public health nurses to man the various primary healthcare centres in the rural communities which according to her will affect the realization of SDGs goal 3 and called on the state government to employ more nurses as well as keep to its promise to built health centres in all the 105 wards of the state.
NANNM chairman in the state while highlighting the challenges faced by the association, expressed dissatisfaction over the non payment allowances of nurses included the 2014 call-duty circular despite series of letters written to the Head of Service for upward review and implementation, regretting that up till now nothing has been done.
Andabai used the medium to appeal to the state government to correct the grade levels of graduate nurses employed in 2017 that were mistaken placed on grade level 8 COAS 7 instead of level 9 COAS 8 in accordance with the FG circular, urging government to review the employment and place them on their rightful grade levels.
She commended the Prosperity administration of the state led by Senator Duoye Diri for the timely payment of salaries which has greatly boosted the morale of workers and also pleaded with the state government to revisit the issue of the payment of 50% of basic salary of health workers for three months during the Covid-19 period as done by the federal government.
Andabai noted that the association has a smooth working relationship with nurses as issues bothering on the welfare of members are handled with utmost priority, pointing out that plans are underway by the executive to build a befitting permanent office for the association and called for members support and cooperation.