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Date Posted: 25/Aug/2011

Vanguard (Lagos)

Chioma Obinna

23 August 2011

For 48 year-old Ososipe Henrietta Oladuni and six others, there is abundant reason to express joy and happiness as each of them rekindled hope that all is not lost for the Nigerian nurse to tell a story of fulfilment just like their counterparts overseas.

Thursday, last week, Oladunni, who has a total of 22 years experience in nursing care, along with Alapo Funmilola, Adebayo Idowu, Nwachukwu Chioma, Osaye Odomero and Zibima Soupriye, were awarded the 2011 Nigeria Nursing Excellence Award.

The event, organised by the Centre for the Right to Health (CRH) in collaboration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria, was a decisive move to right the wrong perceptions about nurses, whose primary role is all about helping others and at the same time earn a living, just like it was established by famous nursing practitioners including Florence Nightingale, Martha Rodgers, and Lilian Ward who recorded significant land marks about nursing.

They were selected out of 340 nurses screened for the award.

A staff of the General Hospital Lagos, Oladunni who spoke on behalf of the awardess noted”Nigerian nurses deserved to be recognised despite all criticisms.” Nursing remains the best in all professions. It is a day-to-day learning experience because each new patient is a new and interesting case.”

She regretted that the society had not been fair to the profession but blamed the negative attitude of nurses on poor remuneration and too much work load .

Calling on government and the public to encourage nurses she lamented that contrary to the WHO stipulation of one nurse to four patients, in Nigeria, a nurse attends to a large number of patients. “We have shortage of nurses everywhere in Nigeria even in the private hospitals. When nurses are over worked, they are bound to present a negative attitude but we are trying to reorientate them in order to save more lives”.

Presenting the awards, Registrar, Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Mrs.Olatokunbo Olanipekun explained that it was necessary to encourage nurses to be good ambassadors of Florence Nightingale and to prove that, there are good nurses who can be used as examples to reclaim etiquette of noble profession.

Project Director, CRH, Mr. Bede Eziefule, said the award is all about recognising and rewarding the dedication and professional excellence of exceptional Nigerian nurses.

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