The President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Alhaji Abdrafiu Adeniji, has urged Federal Government to increase its budgetary allocation to the health sector.
Adeniji made this call on Friday in Abeokuta while briefing reporters about the challenges confronting the nation’s health sector.
He said the health sector had suffered neglect, with government-owned hospitals lacking adequate and necessary equipment and protective gadgets for the nurses and other health workers.
He noted that these had contributed to the brain drain in the nation’s health sector.
Adeniji said, “There is a need for the Federal Government to adhere to the 15 per cent budgetary allocation to the health sector.
“The current scenario when only 4.5 per cent of the annual budgetary allocation is given to health care does not augur well for the nation’s health sector.
“Government must investment heavily in procuring adequate and necessary equipment for the public health institutions in the country.
“It is painful that even the 4.5 per cent does not come in time due to a delayed budget approval. It is dangerous to politicise health care, because any life lost cannot be brought back.
“Nurses, doctors, midwives and others in the health sector need protective gadgets, most especially when handling infectious and contagious diseases.
“Some nurses have died by contacting diseases from patients. It happened here in Abeokuta in the case of Lassa fever.
“And I want to advise nurses now that Cerebro Spinal Meningitis is ravaging many states in the country that they have to be cautious and ensure that they put on protective gadgets while attending to patients.
“Usually, it is the nurses who suffer in a situation like this, because they are the ones who care for the patients and have closest interaction with them.”
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