The Chairman, Ogun State Chapter of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Roseline Solarin, has charged the state government to reposition health sector and increase its personnel in order to improve physical and mental needs of patients as well as attending to the overall wellbeing of Nurses in the State.

Solarin made this known at a press conference organised in commemoration of 2017 International Nurses Week, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

She said nurses were the first point of contact in health services delivery and the heartbeat of health care service which play pivotal role in disease prevention, promotion and healing of both the mind and the body.

She added that it was worrisome that presently in Ogun state, it has only about 3,000 Nurses including both the State and Federal health institutions, as against about 7,000 Nurses five years ago to cater for about 4 million people in the State, noting that many Nurses have retired and the meager number that  were employed by government does not even match the number of Nurses that have retired.

“This brought about gross shortage of manpower in our health facilities couple with expansion of units in hospital. The Nurses patient ratio supposed to be 1 to 4 but presently in Ogun State it is 1 Nurse to 20 patients, which is totally outrageous and unbearable”, Solarin said.

Solarin said lack of adequate security in most hospital poses a great threat to Nurses in the state and lack of adequate equipment/and instruments to work with, even where there were available many of them are obsolete, which cause major challenges on service delivery in most general hospital across the state.

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She pleaded with the state government to do all the needful to reposition the health sector in the state, noting that out of 5 Nursing schools that belong to the state government, she said only 1 was functioning, while the other 4 have lost their accreditation.

She urged the Nurses in the state to put more effort on their profession in order to be relevant in their respective positions, adding that in nursing practice, education was paramount. She said some Nurses tend to hold on to previous knowledge and skills without making efforts to improve and maintain new skills.

“Many Nurses nowadays are not willing to accept the challenges to staying abreast with education and development of new skills in their areas of nursing practice, they don’t make move to forge ahead which inimical to this noble profession,” she opined.

She said that for nursing practice in Nigeria to develop, the Nurses must first rededicate their commitment to the professional ethics of nursing and acknowledge that their primary assignment in the profession was to the welfare of the clients, regardless of the client’s status and also to participate in development of the profession through continuous education, research and clinical studies.

“We Nurses need re-orientation about our attitude to practice, profession, society and clients and then eradicate our resistance to change and global professional, clinical, technical, and theoretical advancement,” Solarin said.