COVID-19: Plateau Nurses, Midwives threaten strike over protection equipment
Nurses and Midwives in Plateau on Saturday threatened to withdraw their services from the fight against the spread of COVID-19 due to the alleged non-provision of Personal Protection Equipment(PPE) by the State Government.
The health personnel under the auspices of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Plateau Council, made the threat at a news briefing in Jos.
The Chairman of the council, Mrs Briskila Dabit said, “Everyone knows about the danger of COVID-19 and it will be unfair on the side of government to expose our members to the virus without personal protection equipment.
“We have decided to down tools in all health centres, including hospitals and Isolation centres if the state government will not provide our members with the desired protection equipment.
“It is no longer news the havoc the ravaging virus is causing to doctors, nurses and midwives across the globe; we need protection if we must serve our fellow citizens as patriots.
“As an association, we are of the shortage of PPE in our hospitals and Isolation Centres; consequently, we have directed our members not to attend to any patient with a suspected case of coronavirus without PPE,” she stated.
Dabit, who declared “No PPE, Don’t Risk Yourself,“ however, frowned at the government’s exclusion of the association’s members in the Task Force it recently set up to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
She called on the state government to release the employment letters of successful candidates of nurses and midwives to help bridge the gap of health personnel in hospitals and isolation centres.
She also called for the implementation of isolation and barrier Nursing techniques appropriately as well as control Ward traffic by limiting the number of visitors to hospitals.
The chairman also urged the state government to “use this opportunity to develop the health sector which needs serious intervention”.
“Lastly, I urge all nurses in the state to take extreme care and sacrifice more during this period by adhering to all precautionary measures recommended by Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and WHO to prevent transmission of the virus and stay safe,” Dabit admonished.
When contacted, Mr Dan Manjang, State Information Commissioner, said that the state government was mindful of the danger of the virus to health personnel and had made adequate arrangement for protective equipment.
”We know the danger this virus could pose to our health officials and we have taken steps toward their training and protection.
“As for the need for employing more hands in our hospitals and isolation centres, we are looking into that in consideration to the funds available to the government, ” Manjang said.