by Oyagiri Chime-emele
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Bayelsa State chapter, has called on the state governor, Senator Douye Diri to declare a state of emergency in the health sector, especially on employment of nurses.
The call was made through its chairperson, Comrade Andabai Sonia, while speaking with journalists on Monday, May 1st, during this year’s workers day celebration in Yenagoa.
She stated that the hospitals in the state currently look like refugee camps.
Comrade Andabai, who explained that the hospitals in the state lack nurses, posited that the health condition of the few are tasked due to much work load.
Speaking on this year’s workers day theme: “Workers right, socio economic justice”, she stated that; “Ever since, we have been struggling for our rights and everybody knows that it is the right of the worker to negotiate for better salary and living conditions.
“The impact of the economic situation recently was not easy for the common man, nor the nurses. For three months, people couldn’t eat nor provide for their families. The government should try and get it right in its economic policies, so the people will not suffer.
She appealed against the continuous trampling on the rights of nurses in the state, insisting that the socio economic provisions for nurses be made a priority to get their best.
On issues concerning nurses rights relating to salary increments, promotion and graduate nurses proper placement, she said; “Our nurses have not gotten their rights. The circular on proper placement of graduate nurses be domesticated, that was approved since January, 2020 by National Council of Establishment, which says that a graduate nurse at his graduation and having served in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) be placed on salary grade level 10, Step 3 or CONT/COES 9, Step 1 is yet to be domesticated.
“In Bayelsa State, from 2018 to today, graduate nurses have been employed but under placed. The state might have a dilemma of making any newly employed graduate nurse higher in placement than the previously employed if it is not domesticated now. We are pleading with the government to do the right thing and place those affected to their rightful grade level for equity and fairness.
“Last year, hazard allowance was approved also, for all health workers including nurses. Before, hazard allowance was Five Thousand Naira, and was upgraded to Thirty Thousand Naira. The federal government has implemented the payment, even paid nine months arrears. We are also appealing to the government to domesticate the circular and do the needful.”
The nurses chairperson hinted that due to the people the governor surrounds himself with, that failed to advise him rightly, the nurses in the state have not really got a good deal from the incumbent government in the state.
She pointed at the dilapidated medical structures, lack of nurses manpower in the hospitals and improper working environment as some of the appalling situations faced by nurses.
She called on the state government to do something urgent to ameliorate the decayed situation in the hospitals.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Senator Douye Diri while addressing workers, spoke on his administration’s achievement on the health sector.
Gov Diri said: “In the health sector, we are constructing and equipping medical centres in all our local government areas, engaged different categories of health workers and introduced cutting-edge technology into the system.
“In this regard, I am delighted to mention that the Bayelsa Zipline Health Supply Chain System, our emergency drone delivery service, is up and flying.
“Only recently, we responded to a distress call from Ukubie in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area for emergency drug intervention for a child suffering from acute malaria and succeeded in saving his life.
“These sorts of testimonies make our modest efforts to serve our people worthwhile.