New Telegraph

Dearth of nurses, medical equipment increasing preventable deaths – Experts

 

Regina Otokpa, Abuja

Experts in the health sector have revealed that a good number of deaths in the nation’s health facilities were as a result of limited number of healthcare professionals including nurses, lack of modern medical equipment and the inability of nurses to carry out certain critical functions.

The experts drawn from the nursing profession, spoke on Monday in Abuja, at a five-day training on ‘Nursing Care Saves Lives,’ organised by the National Surgical, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Nursing Plan (NSOANP), in collaboration with Smile Train.

The immediate past president, National Association of Nigerian Pediatric Nurses, Comrade Lawal-Aiyedun Olubunmi, who raised concerns over government’s poor investment in health, stressed that adequate health budgetary allocation, timely release of funds and training of nurses to undertake critical surgical interventions and emergency care, would help save more lives from preventable deaths.

Olubunmi, who doubles as a member NSOANP committee, maintained that there could never be a successful surgical intervention care without quality nursing care, as nurses were were always available even when other health care professionals especially doctors, were not.

She said: “It is critical for nurses to have this knowledge and capacity to provide safe and quality surgical services in the country more so, nurses are the largest health care team and what is left for us to do with the number is to build their competency and confidence to be able to give quality care.

“I want to plead with the government, the issue of inadequate healthcare professional where one nurse will take care of 40 to 30 patients is exhaustive and its not giving is desired results.

“Our patients are dying and we don’t want that. We want our government to be committed and invest right from the national to the state and local government to prioritise surgical anaesthesia nursing intervention in this country.”

Programme manager, Smile Train West Africa, Victoria Awazie, who disclosed that 84 nurses from the six geopolitical zones were currently part of training, explained that it was a five-year training plan aimed at building the capacity of nurses in Nigeria.

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