The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Federal Health Institutions has threatened to withdraw its services indefinitely over alleged members’ brutality.
The association gave the warning in a statement by its National Chairman, Mr Wale Olatunde and National Secretary, Mr Gambo Danfulani, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The association raised an alarm over alleged recent upsurge and incessant assaults and brutality of its members.
NANNM alleged that its members were being assaulted and brutalised by patients, patients’ relations and some overzealous security personnel while doing their legitimate duties of caring for their patients.
It warned that its members would embark on an indefinite strike in any health institution where there was potential or actual threat of assault or brutality on its members.
The association urged the Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, stakeholders and the general public to caution culprits against unwarranted attacks on its members.
NANNM observed that the cruelty was happening in the face of challenges confronting the nation’s health institutions which range from gross inadequacies of needed medical equipment and consumables to a shortage of adequate manpower.
The association noted that based on available records, over 40 nurses had been assaulted and brutalised in some health institutions across the country in the past one year.
“Available records at our disposal reveal that over 40 nurses in the FHI have been assaulted and brutalised in the last one year in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.
“Others are University College Hospital, Ibadan, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja and recently the Federal Medical Centre, Owo” it noted.
The association worried that the attacks on nurses and other health workers while on duty in various hospitals had resulted in members sustaining varying degrees of physical injuries.
“This necessitated hospital admissions by the affected staff. These barbaric acts are often without proper compensation to the affected members.
“Our members are left to bear the burden of treatment from the miserable five thousand naira (N5000) monthly hazard allowance being paid by the government.
“Coupled with the limitations of the NHIS and lack of appropriate sanctions on perpetrators of such cruel acts,” it stated.
The association condemned these barbaric acts which it stated that had reached unbearable and intolerable levels.
“It will no longer be tolerated. The association and its members will not wait until fatalities are recorded.
“We are requesting the Minister of Health to direct as a matter of urgency, all the Chief Medical Directors/Medical Directors of Federal Health Institutions to ensure adequate provision is made for security of lives and properties.
“We also demand that the management of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, takes full responsibility for the treatment of the affected nurses, pay commensurate compensation and thoroughly investigate the reported incident in the hospital.
“The management should as well ensure that the culprits are appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others with similar intentions,” it stated.
While sympathising with affected members and wishing them speedy and complete recovery, it lauded the actions taken by the unit branch and Ondo State council of the association.
The association said it had in the past collaborated with other health associations to inform the Minister of Health and the Chief Medical Directors/Medical Directors of FHI on the porous nature of these institutions.
“The porous nature remains a threat to the properties and lives of staff of these health institutions, especially the critical areas of Accident and Emergency Department, Critical/Intensive Care units, Pathology department, Labour ward among others,’’ it said.