Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State, on Friday, called for more recognition of the nursing profession, saying the practitioners are relegated to the background.
The governor made the call in Abuja, at the presentation of a book titled, ‘Challenges and Triumph of the Nursing Profession in Nigeria’ written by Professor Kola Oyedepo.
According to Mutfwang, the importance of the nursing profession to the health sector cannot be overemphasized, adding that the contribution of the profession is enormous.
He, therefore, called on policymakers, trainers and stakeholders to make sure that they promote the profession to fulfil its mandate.
“Nurses are very central in the healthcare delivery system. Midwives are very central to the issue of birth. We must make sure that professionalism in the sector is enhanced in every way that is possible.
“I want to congratulate the author of this book for giving the nurses further tools to work with. As governors, we are going to ensure that the health sector is looked at comprehensively.
“This is to make sure that the nursing profession within the health sector is given its pride of place, we are going to make policy pronouncements. We are going to invest in training to enhance the profession in our state,” he added.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Dr. Faruk Abubakar, noted that nurses play a pivotal role in healthcare delivery.
Represented by Mr. Emmanuel Udontre, Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Abubakar said nurses have the autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings.
According to him, advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and patients, health system management and education are key roles of nurses.
He called on government at all levels to begin to show more care to nurses for the big role they perform in the healthcare system.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Daju Kachallom, also stated that the nursing and Midwifery profession occupies a unique and vital place within the healthcare system.
Represented by Mrs. Francisca Okafor, Director of Nursing, FMoH, Kachallom said that nurses and midwives are compassionate, skilled and tireless professionals.
She said they are often the first and last point of care for patients, stressing that they must be treated with dignity.
Kachallom stated that they provide comfort in times of distress, guidance during moments of uncertainty and skilful assistance during the most critical phases of life.
She thanked the author of the book for providing enormous knowledge about the medical profession.
The author explained that he was motivated to write the book to encourage practitioners of nursing and midwifery to be committed to the profession and to seek more knowledge.
The professor added that he was also motivated to write the book so that people will give more recognition to practitioners of the nursing profession, saying that nurses give 70 to 75 per cent of assistance to the medical profession.
Oyedepo who was responding to the allegation of nurses not being part of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees, blamed the nurses for the development, saying that they are not projecting themselves well.
According to him, nurses have a lot of information that could revive the healthcare but they are not projecting such in the right direction, hence they are relegated to the background.
“Information is power but when this is not given out in the right direction, there is bound to be setback.
“Nurses have a lot of information but they are not projecting them, there is a lot of advocacy they need to be doing to make them to be recognised.
“If you don’t say I am here, nobody will recognise you. Out of the three professions in the health fields – pharmacy, nursing and medicine, nurses comprise almost 70 per cent of the healthcare workers population.
“They are not showing up but they want to be in power, this is why the people in power just ignore them,” Oyedepo stated.
He called on nurses and midwives to make use of his book to garner more knowledge about the profession and way out of the challenges confronting it.