There is a dearth of nurses and midwives in Nigeria, a don at the Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), Prof Boluwaji Fajemilehin, has said
According to him, the Integrated Human Resource Information System (iHRIS) Qualify data, the country has fewer nurses and midwives available to care for the sick.
He spoke at the Seventh Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Nurses Yearly Conference. The theme was Nursing: task shifting and other strategies in a resource challenged environment.
Fajamilehin, represented by a lecturer at College of Nursing, University of Lagos, Mr Adeboye Jojolade, said records from the Nursing and MidwiferyCouncil of Nigeria (NMCN) showed there were about 240,000 qualified nurses and midwives, adding that the iHRS Qualify data quoted the registered number as 136,000.
Describing the shortage, Fajemilehin said, there are two or three nurses for a 30-bed ward in the morning, one or two in the afternoon and only one for night duty despite the state of physical dependency of each patient.
This, he said, made nurses set priorities and shift some roles to less professional ones, adding that they besar the burden of shifted loads at the state and local government levels for limited number of doctors, with only teaching hospitals located in the cities being fairly adequate.
He berated the Nigerian constitution for its failure to clearly define who should fund and provide health care among the three tiers of government– federal, state and local government.
“Lack of constitutional definition of roles, has caused complete absence ofeffective linkages and referrals, as such allows the governments to manage healthcare at their discretion,” he said.
“It is the immediate backup for shortfalls of medical demands in any period of change at various levels of care under the pretence of expanded roles without legal string attached,” he added.
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