Nurses and midwives at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Benin City, the Edo State capital have called on the government at all levels to pay the necessary attention to the health sector needs in Nigeria.
The medical practitioners made the appeal on Tuesday when they commenced a three-day sensitisation walk to mark the beginning of the year 2020, which has been tagged as the Year Of The Nurse by the World Health Organisation.
According to the WHO, the year 2020 is significant in the context of nursing and midwifery strengthening, for universal health coverage.
The nurses also decried the increasing rate of migration of Nigerian medical personnel to other countries where, according to them, there are better opportunities for quality health care practice.
The head, nursing at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Mrs Doris Asama, joined her colleagues in the call for adequate funding of the health sector in the country in order to check the growing cases of medical brain drain from Nigeria to other developed countries.
“As I speak to you, many nurses are leaving Nigeria for greener pastures abroad. More than ever before, manpower is needed, funding and good working environment is required in order to attempt changing the status quo” she said.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, UBTH chapter, Mr Augustine Osigbeme, expressed gratitude to the W.H.O for setting the whole of the year 2020 aside for the nurses.
He noted with optimism that the celebrations and actions that would take place during the year-long celebration will bring about the desired positive impact and attention to health care delivery in Nigeria.
“It’s indeed a welcome development for us nurses and midwives, as you know rightly, the country’s population is on the increase, hunger and poverty are also rife, therefore, more people are falling sick and in need of medical services…all these burdens are in the end placed on nurses,” Osigbeme said.