The Nursing community in Nigeria was pervaded with great joy and extreme cheerfulness on Wednesday 23rd May, 2018 when the executive Governor of Kwara state His Excellency Abdulfatah Ahmed appointed a Nurse as his substantive commissioner for Health in the state.
The news of the development was conceived to be a historic one due the fact that such is very uncommon, rare and scarce in Nigeria.
The development also came at a time when the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) members are on strike nation wide demanding for justice and fair treatment in the Health sector. Among JOHESU major demand is appointment of Head of Health institutions, parastatals, agencies and colleges of health sciences on merit not on professional affiliation.
The current arrangement of health industry in Nigeria is that only a medical doctor becomes the Head. This is not only an injustice but a violations of the fundamental human rights which provides for human aspirations and self-determination.
Leadership in its entirety, is usually a natural endowment rather than a personal or specific professional category endowment. Some people naturally make better leaders than others. Leadership in the health sector should be remodel and be based on merit rather than sentiments.
The executive Governor of Kwara state has taken it up to inform and show the world that he is a fair and just leader who appoint leaders and officers based on merit rather than their affiliations. The choice of Alh Usman Kolo Rifun by His Excellency Abdulfatah Ahmed is a well-deserved one baring the various leadership and administrative skills of the new Commissioner of Health for Kwara state.
As a Nurse, Alh Usman Kolo Rifun has distinguished himself as a true professional who practice his profession with true of spirit of professionalism and expertise.
Alh Usman Kolo Rifun a born indigiene of Patigi local government area of Kwara state was former student of the Kwara state School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilorin that was established in the year 1973. The Honourable Commissioner of Health Kwara state was a member of the class 1983 set 15 of the School.
With his appointment it is believed that great development and transformations will come to the health sector of Kwara state given his versatile experience and skills. In particular, great transformations are expected to come to the Profession of Nursing in the state such as the upgrading of the state school of Nursing and Midwifery to a degree awarding institution, fighting quackery, improvement of the welfare of Nursing students and staff in the state and improving their capacities.
In my opinion, I think it's only the Nurse that deserve to be heading our health institutions in Nigeria.
This is in consideration with the rigorous training the Nurse receives in the course of his training. Management is one of the core courses that every Nurse must take during his/her training. it is for this reason that Nurses manage, coordinate and organise wards in hospitals efficiently. Someone may say managing Health industry is far beyond that of the ward. I won't agree and submit to this ascertion.
In countries that developed and those with good and quality healthcare system always appoint a Nurse to head. A contemporary example is in the USA, where the Surgeon-General is a Nurse. The Surgeon-General is equivalent to a Health Minister in our African countries.
During Yar'aduwa/Jonathan regime a Nurse from Zamfara state was appointed a State Minister for Health. He has discharged his job wonderfully well and help the Nursing Profession tremendously. It was during his time that a Directorate for Nursing Services was established in the Federal Ministry of Health. The Directorate is currently helping to coordinate the activities of Nursing profession in the country.
At this juncture I will advice President Muhammadu Buhari to with immediate effect sack both the two ministers of the Federal Ministry of Health (main and for state) for their inability to bring an end to the current ongoing nation wide strike and also for bringing politics and sentiments into the issue. This has left the poor Nigerian masses who can not afford to go private hospitals to continue dying. This has marred the good image of President Buhari and his agenda for CHANGE.
Consequent upon the implementation of my suggestion a Nurse and a pharmacist should be appointed immediately to replace the two ministers who are Medical Doctors for total and absolute transformation, restoration and rebranding of the Nigerian healthcare industry. With the later two (Nurse and pharmacist) Mr President and other Nigerian elites will never go abroad again for treatment of Minor illnesses and even major ones.
I recently came to understand that, the problem with the Nigerian healthcare industry is mainly leadership not a manpower or facilities deficiency. A significant number of Nigerian health professionals are in different parts of the world making a breakthrough.
Congratulations to Alh (Nurs.) Usman Kolo Rifun for the well-deserved appointment. We hope to Kwara state rated as the one of the best state in Nigeria in terms of good and quality Healthcare delivery.
Bilyaminu Bala Yahya
Writes from ABU Zaria Department of Nursing Sciences
Share this news with friends!!!