LUTH experiencing acute shortage of nurses, says NANNM

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LUTH experiencing acute shortage of nurses, says NANNM

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The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has expressed worry over the shortage of nurses in the health facility.

According to the association, the hospital is acutely short of nursing staff, warning that if there is no dramatic increase in staffing, the institution may not be able to handle the demand.

LUTH NANNM Chairman, Fidelia Uzoka, who spoke with PUNCH HealthWise, said the shortage of manpower was taking a toll on the health of the nurses.

“The effect of shortage of nurses in LUTH is overwhelming. The workload is burdensome and this is affecting the health of our members, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of our nurses are exposed, some on admission due to the infection, while some are self-isolating at home.”

Uzoka said the reasons for the shortage were also due to retirement, resignation, transfer of service, and death.

“Many of our nurses retired voluntarily and statutorily and no recruitment or replacement has been done. The last employment was done in 2016.

“The ratio of two nurses to 25-28 patients is absurd, because the stress is much and it is becoming unbearable.”

Also, LUTH NANNM Secretary, Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, told our Correspondent that the pandemic has added to the challenge the nurses are experiencing.

“Prior to COVID-19, the shortage has been there. However, the pandemic has also added to the challenge as some nurses are infected and on treatment, some self-isolating at home.

“The main issue of shortage has been on for long. Many nurses are leaving the service without replacement or employment.

“The last employment was done in 2016, and only 74 were employed then and not all of them resumed, while some left shortly after resumption.”

Continuing, he said “Mostly, the general issue is the lack of workers’ welfare by the government.

“This includes poor remuneration, poor treatment of nurses, lack of training, no room for advancement, poor placement, no materials or equipment to work with and strained working conditions.

“Most nurses who leave voluntarily do so for greener pastures and where they are appreciated.”

He however said the management of the hospital has been making efforts on the issue “but I think the problem lies with the government.

“The government has placed an embargo on recruitment and replacement till further notice whereas people are still leaving, either statutorily, voluntarily or other ways.”

Uzoka called on the government to lift the embargo on recruitment.

Speaking with our Correspondent, LUTH Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, said, “There are shortages of all categories of staff in LUTH.
“Our management is aware of that and we are making plans to employ more people.”

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