Kwara: Nurses protest poor working conditions

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members of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), General Hospital, Ilorin protested against what they described as a poor and risky condition of work.

During their protest, the health workers lamented that the state government did not provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for them in the accident and emergency units as well as other units despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The nurses and midwives also said they now work bi-shift of ten to fourteen hours without provision for food or allowances for nurses as being provided for some other health workers.

One of the protesters, who claimed to be the association’s Auditor of the association, Funke Alo, said that designated pick-up points for workers on duty are few, which makes workers go through stress before finding their way to the pick-up points.

She accused top management, vowing not to resume work until the issues are addressed. In a reaction, association’s chairman in the state, Alhaji Shehu Aminu, warned members to desist from being used to launch political attacks against Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who it insisted has committed so much resources to the health sector, including the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Aminu said in a statement rejected the purported protest by some of its members and threatened to sanction any member who violates public service rules.

Aminu urged citizens to avoid any action that might dampen the spirit of the Governor who he said is doing so much to build a model state.

The association’s position comes on the backdrop of mounting public criticisms against the protest and the video footage which many dismissed as political and insensitive at this time of global pandemic.

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The statement reads: “The attention of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Kwara State branch has been drawn to the news just gone viral of the purported nonchalant attitude of the state government to the plight of nurses working in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wish to state equivocally that this association dissociates itself from this falsehood while commending the Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led Administration for the dogged commitment, efforts and huge financial resources that has gone into this fight against this global pandemic.

“We assure all members of the continued concern of the administration for the welfare and protection of our members which was explicitly expressed by His Excellency in his recent press briefing.

“Please be assured that all the requests tabled have received the desired attention. The members of this Association are as concerned as everyone in this fight and will not in any way allow any politically motivated agitation to dampen the morale of his Excellency in his concerted efforts to bring the fiery situation under control.

“All members of the association are hereby enjoined to continue to do their best and play their role in this fight.

May I inform you that any officer found wanting will be dealt with appropriately according to the public service provisions. Please continue to stay safe while going about your lawful duties.”