Monday, 12 August 2019

MINIMUM WAGE: NURSES CALL FOR COMPROMISE BETWEEN FG AND ORGANIZED LABOUR


Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has called for a compromise between the Federal Government (FG) and organized labour over the new minimum wage for improved productivity and enhanced national economy.

The National Secretary of the Association, Nurse Goodluck Nshi made the call on Monday while briefing newsmen in Abakaliki.

He said that a peaceful resolution of the disagreement would enable the workforce focus on its input to move the nation forward and allow the FG concentrate on ways to tackle the insecurity facing the country.

Nshi said that even though it is good to index minimum wage against cost of living to cushion the sufferings of the masses, the FG and the organized labour should appreciate the fact that issues around minimum wage and standard of living are knotty and as such a deeper understanding of the factors at play is necessary in finding a more encompassing solution to the minimum wage impasse.

He recalled that in the year 2011 when minimum wage was increased from N7500 to N18000, the N18000 amounted to $112 USD at the then exchange rate of N160 per dollar. Today, at the exchange rate of N360 per dollar, the N30, 000 minimum wage in concern amounts to $83 USD. Therefore, even with N30, 000 minimum wage, it is understandable that there are still gross marginal wage deficits if wages in 2019 are compared with what they were in the year 2011 in US dollars. This notwithstanding, it is also understandable that prices of commodities are higher today than they were in the year 2011.   

On the other hand, the price of crude oil (which is the mainstay of our economy) has plummeted from $110 per barrel that it sold in the year 2011 to around $60 per barrel in the year 2019. This represents about 45% reduction in government revenue from what it used to be in the year 2011 when compared to what it is in the current year.

“These factors need to be considered by both FG and the organized labour for the necessary compromise to be made to move the country forward.

On the Sallah celebration the UGONSA scribe called on Muslims and Christians to leave harmoniously with one another in order to move the country to the next level.

"We facilitate with our Muslim brothers as they celebrate the 2019 Eid-el-Kabir.

"We wish you all a joyful Sallah Celebration. May God bless you and your dear ones with Peace, Prosperity and Happiness on this occasion of Eid-El-Kabir," Nshi said.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

THE COMMUNIQUE OF THE 19TH UGONSA CONFERENCE KADUNA, 2019

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 19TH NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE AND SCIENTIFIC UPDATE OF THE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES OF NURSING SCIENCE ASSOCIATION (UGONSA) HELD AT COMRADE CECILIA MUSA NURSES HOUSE, KADUNA, KADUNA STATE, BETWEEN 7TH  AND 13TH JULY, 2019

Tag: PROPER PLACEMENT SUMMIT

Theme: TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND HUMAN RESOURCE IN NURSING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE IN NIGERIA: DYNAMICS AND NEXUS

Preamble
UGONSA highly appreciates the National President of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji (the Father of the Event) and the leadership of NANNM in Kaduna State for their massive fatherly support. The association also immensely appreciates the Director of Nursing Services (DNS), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Nurse Franca Okafor (the Guest of Honour) – our able, astute and performing DNS, “a DNS like never before”, for her unquantifiable and non-repayable motherly support. UGONSA also appreciates the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (the Chief Guest of Honour) – our amiable, progressive and pragmatic Registrar for his immeasurable support and encouragement.  Finally, the association is thankful to the keynote speaker, Dr. Emmanuel Ejembi Anyebe; the Government and good People of Kaduna State for providing a peaceful atmosphere for our 19th National Professional Conference and Scientific Update, and the Kaduna State Chapter of UGONSA for a well-organized hosting.

The opening ceremony
The opening ceremony held on Monday 8th July. The participants donned the conference T-shirts for the opening ceremony and the flag-off of the event was done by the National President of NANNM, Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji (the Father of the Event), ably represented by the NANNM Chairman Kaduna State Chapter, Nurse Bartholomew Sati. The event was chaired by Chief (Hon). Solomon E.O. Egwuenu, UGONSA National President. Other Dignitaries that graced the event included Nurse Franca Okafor (the Guest of Honour) – the Director of Nursing Services (DNS), Federal Ministry of Health, well represented by Nurse Emem Umonya Etim, a staff of Nursing Division, FMOH; Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (the Chief Guest of Honour) – the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria ably represented by Nurse Mustapha Abdullahi Garba; Dr. Emmanuel E. Anyebe, the keynote presenter [a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin]; Nurse Christiana Bawa, the Secretary of NANNM Kaduna State; Dr. Elkanah C. Ndie, [the Head of Department of Nursing Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria]; Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani, [the Head of Department of Nursing Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto]; Dr. Ihudiebube-Splendor Chikaodili N., [a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Sciences University of Nigeria] among others. There were goodwill messages from the dignitaries. 

Publications
Book of Abstracts of the 19th UGONSA Conference and a compendium of the proceedings of 17th and 18th Conference were the principal publications of the conference. Others were the main works of the presenters distributed to all the participants, and a blood transfusion documentation note, titled “Blood Transfusion Notes (UGONSA Model)” produced by the association. A press statement on the injustice being meted on nurses by the Nigerian government especially the under placement of graduate nurses and deliberate writing-off the great contributions of the late nurse heroine, Nurse Ejelonu Justina Obioma, in stamping out Ebola virus from Nigeria, was also published via reputable news media.

Proceedings
Those whose abstracts were accepted by the ‘Abstract Review Committee’ and listed for presentation and who met the set criteria for presentation were scheduled for presentation. The persons and their respective works included: Dr. Elkanah C. Ndie (Absence of Nursing Dynamics Nexus to Non-Transformational Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria); Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani (Socialization and Social Relationships of People Living with Disorders of Sex Development and Sex Re-Assignment in Nigeria: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study); Dr. Ihudiebube-Splendor Chikaodili N. (Attitude and Perceived Barriers to Uptake of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine among Female Students in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution); Dr. Justin Agorye Ingwu (Assessment of Relationship Between Study Habit and Academic Performance of University Students in the Department of Nursing Sciences in the South East, Nigeria); Nurse Nshi Goodluck Ikechukwu (Electrocardiogram: Possible Implication of Changes the Nurse Should Know); Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver (Unmasking Nurses’ Entrepreneurial Potentials: Swot Analysis of Nigerian Nursing & Midwifery Act); Nurse Eteng Philip Okori (Safe and Care Effective Nursing Practice in Administration of Blood and Blood Products); Nurse Ilo Judith Ijeoma (Assessing Knowledge, Practice and Factors Influencing Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness among Couples in Rural Communities in Enugu State Nigeria); Nurse Ene Odaudu (Assessment of Preventive Practices on Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Acute Units of Kubwa General Hospital); Nurse Ndubuisi Lovelyn Sopuruchi (Electronic Information Resources for Transformational Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria); Nurse Ekuma-Ojim Cynthia Judith (Effective Human Resource Management: A Tool For Improved Productivity); Nurse Ubochi Nneka Edith (Nursing Entrepreneurship: A Panacea For Building Health Capacities in the Nigerian Health Care System, Validation of the Drive Process Model); and Nurse Ndubuisi Lawrence Ndubueze (BSS) (Ensuring Standardization in Nursing Practice).

Congress and Resolutions
The last day was dedicated to congress, where a number of issues affecting the health and well-being of Nigerians, growth, development and advancement of the nursing profession, and university graduates of nursing sciences, were deliberated upon with taking of positions, proffering of solutions and making of recommendations as presented below:

1. The congress-in-session deplored the deteriorating security situation and increasing level of poverty in the country and urged President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors to do more in securing the lives and properties of the populace and alleviating the scorching poverty in the land. The congress however, commended the Buhari’s regime on its fight against corruption but urged that the fight be made more robust and inclusive irrespective of background or party affiliation.

2. The Congress strongly frowned at the selective injustice being meted out on Nigerian Nurses by the Nigerian Government. It emphasized that it totally lacked comprehension on why the government singled out only the graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree for under placement to the tune of one grade level below their par and counterparts in other core healthcare professions such as Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, and so, despite that all have similar entry requirements and course duration for the first degree in the university. The congress noted that the unfortunate and provocative scenario thrives with graduate nurses being placed on CONHESS 07 during internship and on CONHESS 08 post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts in other core healthcare professions are placed on CONHESS 08 during internship and on CONHESS 09 Post-NYC, notwithstanding that the Federal Government verily gazetted the Industrial Arbitration Panel Award of the year 1981 which granted that in the healthcare system of Nigeria, the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy, as is the case in Great Britain. The association passionately appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the National Council on Establishments and other concerned authorities to urgently correct and rectify this anomaly in the spirit of equity and fairness.

3. The congress noted with dismay the projection by Federal Government of Late Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh to ECOWAS for posthumous honor with the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence Award and her induction into the women hall of fame by the National Centre for Women Development for paying the supreme price while curbing Ebola without reciprocating similar gesture to Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu who was the first to pay the supreme price while working to curb the same disease as later did late Dr. Adadevoh. The Congress welcomed the honour bestowed on Dr. Adadevoh as “deserving and a step in the right direction” but pointed out that doing so to the exclusion of Nurse Ejelonu was a gross injustice to her memory, her family and the nursing profession. The congress bestowed the highest UGONSA honour of Grand Ambassador of Nightingalic Virtues (GANV) on Late Nurse Ejelonu, inducted her into the prestigious UGONSA hall of fame and declared her the “face” of the unrecognized great daily sacrifices nurses make to keep Nigerians alive and healthy. The Congress strongly called on the Federal Government to show that “it belongs to all” by extending the honour bestowed on Late Dr. Adadevoh to Late Nurse Ejelonu since both died in action saving Nigeria from Ebola. Other nurses honoured with the GANV award for their excellence services to the nursing profession in Nigeria and humanity in general include Mrs. Victoria Gowon (wife of former Head of State, Gen.Yakubu Gowon), Arch. Bishop A.O. Obarisagbon (the Pioneer President and Founder of GNAN, now known as UGONSA) and Mrs. A.O. Olanipekun (former Registrar, Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria). 

4. The Congress-in-Session frowned at the non-recognition of higher qualifications in nursing such as M.Sc and Ph.D Nursing in the schemes of service for the nursing officer and  called on the government, the National Council on Establishment and appropriate authorities to recognize the importance of advanced education in nursing practice and thus commence remuneration of nurses that acquired additional higher qualifications in nursing accordingly by availing a befitting place for M.Sc and Ph.D in Nursing in the schemes of service for nursing officers.

5. Congress superlatively commended the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno & the entire members of the Board of the NMCN for their progressive and visionary leadership that is fast improving the lot of the profession. The congress passed a resounding vote of confidence on them and urged them to keep up their burning zeal and commitment to positively repositioning the nursing profession in Nigeria.

6. Congress lauded the NMCN for taking a step further beyond the existing registration and licensing of some nursing specialties [such as M.Sc programmes in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, and Community Health Nursing] at postgraduate levels, to announcing that all other post-Basic courses shall become licensable and registrable only at post-graduate level starting from the year 2023. Congress implored the council to keep up with this date and make it sacrosanct irrespective of opposition, pressure or challenge.

7. The congress-in-Session observed that some unscrupulous elements around the country run a programme dubiously tagged “Dental Nursing”, which is at date not registrable and licensable by the NMCN and are gradually swaying the public into believing that their products, who do not have nursing license are nurses as some have surreptitiously found their ways into our public health institutions and are fraudulently and illegally posing as nurses. The congress recommended that the NMCN create a specialty programme in Dental Nursing regulated and licensable by the council, as the quacks that parade themselves as Dental Nurses seem to be succeeding because they cash-in on the lacuna created by the absence of a NMCN registrable and licensable Dental Nursing Specialty programme which the public critically needs. Congress remarked that the public will come to easily identify the impostors as quacks if we start having Dental Nurses licenced by the NMCN who can present and avail their nursing licence as proof that they are genuine dental nurses to prospective employers and members of the public, which the quacks that do not have NMCN issued licences cannot do.

8. The congress strongly frowned at the continued subjugation of Nursing Services as a division in the department of Hospital Services under the headship of a Physician and verily called on the National Leadership of NANNM to mount a pitching pressure on the Federal government to implement, without further delay, the Yayale Ahmed presidential committee report on harmony in the health sector, which inter alia recommended a fully-fledged autonomous Department of Nursing Services in the Federal Ministry of Health. The Congress equally called for intensifying the campaign for upgrade of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to a “grade A” regulatory agency by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

9. Congress advised nurses to key in to the spirit and letters of transformational leadership in nursing by using the same professional nursing care approach we use in caring for our patients to also care for other nurses and subordinates, as they, like our patients, are also humans that need to be cared for. 

10. The congress re-emphasized its earlier call on all stakeholders in the nursing profession to recognize the non-negotiable need for unity and come together to pursue a common goal to promote the professional growth, advancement and development of nurses and the nursing profession.

11. Congress-in-Session noted with serious concern that the current established legal framework for Nursing education and practice in Nigeria (.i.e. the Establishment Act of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria) is now obsolete as it is riddled with myriad of flawed sections that fall short of contemporary complexities of nursing practice, current trends and international best practices. The Congress set-up a seven-man committee of reliable think tank to oversee review of the Act and preparation of a bill for parliamentary amendment of the Act, which the association shall transmit to the NMCN and the national leadership of NANNM for their input prior to transmission to the National Assembly. This committee was given a period of four months to execute their mandate.

12. The Congress okayed the elaboration of organized lobbying in pursuing the proper placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree to be at par with the graduates of other healthcare disciplines. 

13. To effectively work the ropes of getting the Establishment Act of the NMCN amended and achieving the proper placement of the graduates of B.N.Sc degree, the Congress called for financial sacrifices from UGONSA members. Accordingly, the Congress sanctioned a mandatory levy of minimum of 10,000 NGN (ten thousand naira) on all UGONSA members to adequately and sufficiently finance the execution of the projects to their fullness. The Congress appointed a five-man committee of dependable nurses with proven integrity to co-ordinate the collection and management of the funds. Members are to make payment of the levy into UGONSA National FirstBank account, 3089525712, within six (6) months from the day of the Congress.

14. Congress reiterated the need to restore payment of teaching allowance to Nurses and Midwives on CONHESS 07 and 08 and re-emphasized that Nurses and Midwives irrespective of grade and cadre are involved in the teaching of students on clinical posting, client advocacy and teaching including education of patients and their relatives and strongly called on all nursing stakeholders to prevail on the FMOH to restore the payment of teaching allowance to nurses in these grade levels. 

15. The congress equally frowned at the continued payment of token hazard allowance to Nurses/Midwives and demanded for its upward review that should be commensurate with the round-the-clock, daily exposure to clinical hazards, which nurses and midwives face.

16. The congress strongly frowned at the skyrocketing rate of quackery and the impunity with which those indulging in it perpetuate it, with little or no confrontation. It recommended, inter alia,  the forming of a well-funded, active and functional Joint Task Force between the State Nursing & Midwifery Committees on Quackery and State NANNM Chapters that shall gather data on addresses, locations and activities of all hospitals in their respective States, pay unscheduled visits at least once per month to each hospital in their respective States in the company of police and mobile Court for on-the-spot arrest, prosecution and conviction of quacks and hospitals that produce or patronize them. Members of the Task Force should be employed as Permanent Staff, or on the alternative, at least engaged in a two years renewable contract with a motivating monthly salary package and should comprise of Security Men/Guards under the supervision of an experienced Registered Nurse. The congress had reasoned that as this model has successfully helped Electricity Distribution Companies to effectively supervise and monitor all households that utilize their electrical services across all States of the federation, it can also help the Nursing Profession to effectively and successfully monitor how hospitals in different States utilize nursing services, if replicated and adopted in the fight against quackery in Nursing. The congress also recommended that individuals and hospitals that were discovered to be promoting and engaging in quackery be named, publicized and shamed in both social and conventional media to acquaint the public on the dangers of their malpractices and nefarious activities. NMCN was equally urged to produce professional seals for every nurse and collaborate with GSM providers to create an SMS code for on-the-spot identification of all the nurses in any setting in Nigeria. 

17. The congress in session enjoined nurses and midwives to employ aggressive individualized campaigns on social media against the increasing menace of quackery that is exponentially denting the image of the profession and as well use such platforms to advocate and galvanize support for expedite implementation of the proper placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree and bestowing of deserving posthumous honours by the Federal Government on Late Nurse Ejelonu Justina Obioma, who sacrificed her life for Nigerians to be saved from Ebola attack, and as well for projecting a good public image of the nursing profession to make it more endearing to healthcare clients and the general public.   

18. The congress also reiterated the need for all schools of Nursing and Midwifery to be upgraded to or affiliated to degree awarding institutions and commencement of award of nursing degree in Nigerian Universities as a dual honours of Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery (BNMB) to make the basic entry point into practice of Nursing and Midwifery for all nurses and midwives in Nigeria to be at the baccalaureate level. 

19. Congress encouraged nurses to explore and maximize their entrepreneurial potentials to be able to: establish and own private healthcare facilities; enhance their economic status in order to attain financial independence; help the government reduce the rate of unemployment and brain drain of best hands in the Nigerian nursing community, contribute meaningfully to the economy of the nation; and become formidable and indispensable part of policy formulators/makers. 

20. Congress-in-Session restructured the architecture of the association by introduction of three zones along the regional lines of Nigeria at independence vis-à-vis Northern Zone, Eastern Zone and Western zone with the Presidents and Secretaries of the Zones being Deputy National Presidents and Assistant National Secretaries. Nurse Afoi B. Barry emerged the pioneer President of the Northern Zone with Nurse Mustapha Abdulahi Garba as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone; Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver emerged the pioneer President of the Eastern Zone with Nurse Eteng Philip Okori as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone; Nurse Ojo Idowu Opeyemi emerged the pioneer President of the Western Zone with Nurse Oloye Abiola Oluwafemi as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone.

21. The congress appreciated the management of all the hospitals that have implemented internship training, and the extant placement post-NYSC, for the graduates of B.N.Sc degree as approved by the National Council on Establishment (NCE) in the year 2016 and urged those that are yet to implement it to urgently do so.

22. Finally, the congress agreed and approved that the next (.i.e. 20th) UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update will hold in the 1st week of August, 2020 at Ebonyi State, Nigeria. 

Communique Drafting Committee Members

Nur. Agbo Gabriel E.                             Ebonyi State Chapter                              -Chairman
Nur. Benson Ekaette V.                          Akwa Ibom State Chapter                       -Secretary
Nur. Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver               Enugu State Chapter                                -Member
Nur. Ajibola Aishat O.                           Ogun State Chapter                                 -Member
Nur. Ribanre Moses Machoko              Taraba State Chapte                                 -Member 
Nur. Eteng Philip O.                               Ebonyi State Chapter                              -Member
Nur.Bello Salamatu                                 Kaduna State chapter                              -Member

Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE G.I. NSHI
        National President                                                           National Secretary

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

PROPER PLACEMENT AND ROBBING EJELONU OF EBOLA AWARD: NURSES BEMOAN NEGLECTS BY GOVERNMENT

Despite that nurses are the frontline caregivers, with the most visible bedside presence, who stay with and by patients in times of illness or health, from birth till death, and whose roles in the hospital are akin to the roles played by mothers in families, it appears they are not happy over the way the Nigerian government treats them.

This was disclosed in a statement issued Tuesday in Kaduna by nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) at the ongoing event of the 19th edition of the association’s National Professional Conference and Scientific Update.

In the Statement jointly signed by UGONSA National President, Chief (Hon.) S.E.O. Egwuenu, and National Secretary, Nurse G.I. Nshi, the association lamented what it described as a deliberate suppression and non recognition of the great roles nurses play in the care and well being of Nigerians.  

According to the Association, a case in point was the projection of Late Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh to ECOWAS for posthumous honour with the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence Award and her induction into the women hall of fame by the National Centre for Women Development for paying the supreme price while curbing Ebola without reciprocating similar gesture to Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu who also paid the supreme price while working to curb the same disease as did late Dr. Adadevoh.

“Honouring Dr. Adadevoh for her contributions towards curbing the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine was a step in the right direction but doing so at the expense of the nurse that implemented the quarantine order and who unfortunately caught the virus in the process of implementing the order and subsequently paid the supreme price like Dr. Adadevoh was a gross injustice.

“Both Dr. Adadevoh and Nurse Ejelonu, were members of the same health team that curbed the spread of Ebola to Nigerians from the First Consultant Hospital Lagos  where the index case was admitted and quarantined and both paid the supreme price in the process of quarantining the index case.

“Nurse Ejelonu, a Registered Nurse, who graduated from Ebonyi State University in the year 2010 with Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree, was a professional nurse par excellence. She was full of life, energetic and agile with decent dreams and aspirations before she was swept away while in action, saving Nigeria from the Ebola scourge. She was the shining light that beckoned hope for her poor parents and siblings and was two months pregnant, with her wedding to her Fiancé planned for October, 2014 (two months before the sudden twist of fate made her pay the ultimate price for humanity). Today, the Nigerian government has written her off simply because she was a nurse.

“As the Nigerian Government continues to dishonour her, we in the nursing community shall continue to honour and adore her with reverential awe because she is the face of the sacrifices that nurses make on a daily basis to keep Nigerians alive and healthy. We have honoured her with the highest UGONSA honour of Grand Ambassador of Nightingalic Virtues (GANV) and accordingly inducted her into the prestigious UGONSA hall of fame. We have also commenced the process of getting her honoured by the International Nursing Community at the next conference of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The Nigerian Government should bury its head in shame for portraying its self as a citadel of injustice through its age-long penchant of making two equal things appear as unequal especially in affairs that involve and concern nurses.  

The same stark injustice of the Nigerian government against Nigerian Nurses maybe also what informed the deliberate under placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree to the tune of one grade level below their par in our health system.

“Despite that the Nigerian Government gazetted the industrial Arbitration Panel award of the year 1981 which unequivocally granted that in the healthcare system of Nigeria, the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy as is the case in Great Britain, what we witness in Nigeria today is the injustice of deliberate subjugation of fresh graduates of B.N.Sc degree on CONHESS 07 during internship and on CONHESS 08 post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts from other core healthcare disciplines (such as Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, etc.) with similar entry requirements and course duration for the first degree are placed on CONHESS 08 during internship and on CONHESS 09 post-NYSC.

“With subjugation of fresh graduates of nursing to a tune of one grade level below their par, the Nigerian Government whimsically portrayed nurses as subservient to other core healthcare disciplines as it did in the case of Late Nurse Ejelonu.

“Mounting evidence shows that under placement and consequent poor remuneration of Nigerian nurses psychologically traumatizes them and is the single most responsible factor for their mass exodus to foreign countries where they are well placed, remunerated, recognized and appreciated for their great contributions in care delivery. Since the care of mankind has been entrusted unto nurses, they must be motivated and not traumatized to carry out this task effectively and efficiently.

“Nurses are to the healthcare system what mothers are to families. Any family in which the mother is empowered is eternally progressive but families where mothers are subjugated and trampled upon (as done to nurses in the Nigeria health system) never make any inch of progress. This explains why Nigeria health system is almost the ‘first from behind’ in the ranking of the world’s performing and responsive health systems.

“Proper placement will motivate nurses and oil their latitude to meeting the increasing complexity of health needs, which nurses are in the frontline to drive. We dare say that medical tourism by government officials and affluent Nigerians to other countries shall surely abate with adequate motivation of nurses through proper placement and enhanced remuneration. This is because with a motivated nursing workforce, we stand to get in Nigeria hospitals what is obtainable in high-ranking hospitals in other countries. 

We therefore verily call on well meaning Nigerians and the media to prevail on the powers-that-be to recognize and honour Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu for her selfless and great sacrifice in curtailing Ebola scourge in Nigeria as has been done for Late Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and to give nurses their due and eligible right of placement at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare professions in the spirit of equity and fairness.

“Keeping quiet in the face of injustice is not golden. Silence in such a situation portrays acceptance of the injustice and, at worst, complicity in perpetuating it – the statement concluded.

Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE G.I. NSHI
         
National President                                                           National Secretary


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Monday, 8 July 2019

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH FROM 19TH CONFERENCE - KADUNA, 2019


AN ADDRESS BY CHIEF (HON) SOLOMON E.O. EGWUENU, THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY GRADUATES OF NURSING SCIENCES ASSOCIATION (UGONSA) ON THE EVENT OF 19TH UGONSA NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE & SCIENTIFIC UPDATE HOLDING AT KADUNA, KADUNA STATE FROM SUNDAY 7TH TO SATURDAY 13TH JULY, 2019



I wish to most heartily welcome and congratulate all of you for making out time from your very tight schedule to attend this crucial and memorable conference. Nursing as a profession or vocation is as old as human history. Its central and predominant contribution in the health care industry is incontestable and its global recognition and marketability is heartwarming. However this profession is faced with some incapacitating political and socio-economic problems in Nigeria that tend to stagnate and inhibit its professional growth, development and rewardability in contrast with the same nursing profession in the Western world and developed countries.  A gathering like the event of this National Professional Conference & Scientific Update provides opportunity for appraisal of our situations and modalities for improvement as we believe that with consistent, focused and methodical effort, we shall in no distant time take the nursing profession in Nigeria to the enviable height it has attained in the developed countries.

The UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update is a classic event where scholars, researchers and administrators in the nursing profession gather to exhibit and review scientific works and underlying theories of nursing practice for the purpose of improving on medico-nursing knowledge and skills for enhanced qualitative client care. As the conference provides another veritable opportunity for us to sieve out vital ingredients for repositioning nursing services more efficiently for care effective and cost effective service delivery, it also provides the opportunity for us to look into factors that might have been diffusely or actively constituting impediments to our unalloyed zest towards elaborating the best of what we can offer as nurses to the services of our clients. Among such factors is the issue of lack of proper placement and poor remuneration of nurses. 

The current professional conference was tagged “PROPER PLACEMENT SUMMIT” because it shall be used to champion the course for proper placement of Graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines. The Nigerian health system has been provocatively treating the profession of nursing as subservient to other core healthcare disciplines through its deliberate, unfair and inequitable placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree below their par in the Civil Service. The Industrial Arbitration Panel award, 1981 was unambiguous in its declaration that the profession of nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in Great Britain. What that simply means is that graduates of first degree of the profession of Pharmacy and those of nursing should be placed on the same entry point into the Civil Service. However, the ugly situation we witness as at date is the aberration of subjugating fresh graduates of B.N.Sc degree to CONHESS 07 (.i.e. Grade Level 08) during internship and to CONHESS 08 (.i.e. Grade Level 09) post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts from other core healthcare disciplines (such are Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, etc) are placed on CONHESS 08 for internship and CONHESS 09 (.i.e. Grade Level 10) post-NYSC. The reason for keeping graduates of B.N.Sc degree on one Grade Level below their par (who they share similar entry requirement and course duration with for the first degree in the university) has never been explained by anybody till date, perhaps because there is no reason other than a seemingly sinister plot to make nurses remain at the bottom of the food chain in our healthcare system. 

If we accept that injustice permeates where equal things are treated as unequal, it portends that our Health System is a citadel of injustice for treating equal things as unequal vis-à-vis under-placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree below their par. What is more? This ill treatment meted out against nurses psychologically traumatizes them perennially and adversely impacts their zeal for going the extra mile in service delivery. Such must not be allowed to continue. Because the care of mankind has been entrusted unto nurses, they must be motivated and not traumatized to carry out this task effectively and efficiently.

Nurses are to the healthcare system what mothers are to families. Any family in which the mother is empowered is eternally progressive but families where mothers are subjugated and trampled upon (as done to nurses in the Nigeria health system) never make any inch of progress. This explains why Nigeria health system is almost the ‘first from behind’ in the ranking of the world’s performing and responsive health systems. Proper placement will motivate nurses and oil their latitude to meeting the increasing complexity of health needs, which nurses are in the frontline to drive. I dare say that medical tourism by government officials and affluent Nigerians to other countries shall surely abate with adequate motivation of nurses through proper placement and enhanced remuneration. This is because with a motivated nursing workforce, we stand to get in Nigeria hospitals what is obtainable in high-ranking hospitals in other countries.

I therefore humbly call on our distinguished dignitaries, other well meaning Nigerians and the media to prevail on the powers-that-be to give nurses their due and eligible right of placement at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare professions. Keeping quiet in the face of injustice is not golden. Silence in such a situation portrays acceptance of the injustice and, at worst, complicity in perpetuating it. We count on your voice to put pressure on the Nigerian government to do the right thing on the placement of the graduates of B.N.Sc degree by making their entry point for internship and into the Civil Service post-NYSC to be at par with that of other core healthcare professionals as granted by the IAP award, 1981.

To my fellow Graduate Nurses, although the challenges facing nursing in Nigeria is enormous, they are however not insurmountable. We must brace up to the challenges and tenaciously fight to uproot all obstacles standing on our way to professional growth, development and self actualization. In this crucial conference we shall be brainstorming to take a proactive and collective stand on other issues and policies that bring about desirable changes in nursing profession especially reformation and amendment of the establishment Act of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; upgrade or affiliation of  schools of nursing and midwifery to degree awarding institutions; creation of a substantive directorate of Nursing Services at the Federal Ministry of Health and curtailing the menace of quackery in nursing.

The profession is looking up to us as vectors for productive and positive change and we cannot afford to betray this expectation. The reason for this expectation is not far-fetched; we are products of university-based education and hold professional degrees like our contemporaries in Medicine and pharmacy. This advantage removes the inadequacies of inferiority complex with its associated easy capitulation to inter-professional intimidation by other graduate professionals in the health care industry. The graduates of nursing sciences are also polyvalent graduates adequately versed in clinical sciences, behavioural, social and management sciences that make them unique among the core healthcare professionals.

In this conference, I implore you all to be very committed and professionally patriotic so as to chart a new course for our great and noble profession. We must remain strong and united so as to frustrate our detractors who do not want to see the growth, development and advancement of the nursing profession. We must tirelessly work to gain professional autonomy in Nigeria and take nursing to the acceptable and desirable global standard. We must prove a point that Nursing is the centrifuge and engine room of the health care industry. We must show the world that we are the dominant force in the health care sector. We must take our place of prominence and pride in the health care industry and we must reap the fruits of our professional labour here on earth and thereafter in heaven.

On this note, I appreciate the privilege to welcome you all to the Centre of Learning, Kaduna State, and as we deliberate on professional issues in nursing, I enjoin nurses, members of other healthcare professions, the government, the media and all people of good-will, to join hands and help us bring about a repositioned and more responsive nursing profession in Nigeria as nursing remains that great pot that cooks good health for all of us.

God bless you!

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Sunday, 30 June 2019

HOW UGONSA NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCES & SCIENTIFIC UPDATES HELP NURSING LECTURERS, THOSE WITH PROSPECT OF BEING IN THE ACADEMIA AND THOSE ASPIRING TO BE DISTINGUISHED IN CLINICAL PRACTICE, GET PROMOTION


The UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update is a classic event where scholars, researchers and administrators in the nursing profession gather to exhibit and review scientific works and underlying theories of nursing practice for the purpose of improving on medico-nursing knowledge and skills, for enhanced qualitative client care.

Most universities and health institutions require that their lecturers, higher degree students and clinical staff show evidence of participation and presentation of their works at professional conferences as a caveat for promotion, graduation or professional distinction. The evidence could be in various forms :

·   Evidence that the abstract submitted was accepted for presentation at the conference through a letter that conveys such.

·    Showing that their work(s) is/are listed as an entry in the book of abstracts of the conference.

·  A release letter addressed to the institution where the presenter works indicating that his/her work was accepted for presentation at the conference and asking for release of such person(s) to attend the conference and make the presentation.

·    Certificate of Presentation of the work issued to the presenter at the end of the conference.

DOES UGONSA NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE & SCIENTIFIC UPDATE MEET THE UNIVERSITY/HEALTH INSTITUTIONS’ STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS TO HELP NURSES EXCEL IN ACADEMIA AND CLINICAL PRACTICE?

Yes! UGONSA makes a call for submission of abstracts for the next Professional Conference & Scientific Update at the completion of every conference. The Abstract Review Committee, upon completion of review of submitted abstracts, makes recommendations to the National Leadership of UGONSA for acceptance or rejection of works.  Notification regarding acceptance or rejection of abstracts is sent to the submitters. The authors whose works were accepted for presentation are issued with a letter of acceptance of their abstracts for presentation at UGONSA conference. Their works are then published in the book of abstracts. Thereafter, applications for their release to attend the conference, and present their papers, are made to the Heads of their institutions, Vice Chancellors, Provosts, deans, etc. At the end of the conference, the authors that made presentations are issued with certificates of presentation by UGONSA which they can submit with the book of abstracts to their institution as proof of participation and presentation at the conference.

HOW CAN I CONFIRM THAT UGONSA NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCES & SCIENTIFIC UPDATES CAN OFFER THESE BENEFITS AND OPPRTUNITIES?

Kindly attend the upcoming 19th conference to confirm for yourself, as the proof of the pudding lies in the eating. The 19th National Professional Conference & Scientific Update Kaduna, 2019 shall hold from Sunday 7th to Saturday 13th July, 2019 at National Ear Care Centre, Independence Way Kaduna, Kaduna State.

After attending, for sure you shall be the first to urge nurses in academia, those with prospects of being in the academia and those that wish to distinguish themselves in clinical practice to submit their abstracts when next UGONSA calls for submission of abstracts for its National Professional Conference & Scientific Update.

For Further Information:  Correspondence with the association regarding the conference is easily made via our email address, gnan2ugonsa@gmail.com or through any of the following phone numbers: 08065585953, 08037008815, or 07038768210.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

19TH UGONSA NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE AND SCIENTIFIC UPDATE - KADUNA 2019

PROPER PLACEMENT SUMMIT - KADUNA 2019

The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) a.k.a Graduate Nurses Association of Nigeria (GNAN) uses the event of its 19th National Professional Conference and Scientific Update to rally support of Stakeholders in Nigerian Nursing Community towards actualization of Proper Placement of Graduates of Nursing Science degree to be at par with what is obtainable for their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines. It therefore extends warm invitation to the following stakeholders and participants:

University Graduates of Nursing Science.

Undergraduates of Nursing Science [including those on Work and Study Programme (WASP)               and Open Distance Learning (ODL) such as the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)           programme].

Members of UGONSA Board of Trustees (BOT).

Professors of Nursing.

PhD holders in Nursing.

M.Sc holders in Nursing.

Present and Past Registrars of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).

Present and past Members of Board of NMCN.

Present and past National Executives of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives          (NANNM).

Present and past State/Unit Executives of NANNM.

Present and Past State/Unit Executives of UGONSA.

 Present and Past Directors of Nursing Services (States and Federal).

Heads of departments/Deans Faculties of Nursing.

Nurse Lecturers in departments/Faculties of Nursing.

Nurse Educators/Lecturers in Schools of Nursing/Midwifery (Basic and Post-Basic).

Present and past National/Chapter Executives of NUNSA.

Nurse Interns.

Nursing Media Groups/Bloggers and Leaders of other sub-professional associations in Nursing.

All that supports the actualization of proper placement of graduates of Nursing Science degree.

THEME: TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND HUMAN RESOURCE IN NURSING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE IN NIGERIA: DYNAMICS AND NEXUS

DATE: Sunday 7th – Saturday, 13th July, 2019

VENUE: National Ear Care Centre, Independence Way Kaduna, Kaduna State.

REGISTRATION FEE: N10000 (Graduates), N5000 (Undergraduates).

PAYMENT PORTAL: Account Name: UGONSA, Account Number: 3089525712, First Bank.

For Inquiries Please Call +2348065585953 or +2348037008815 or send email to gnan2ugonsa@gmail.com

Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                   NURSE G.I. NSHI
     National President                                                             National Secretary

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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

THE UNRAVELING STORY ABOUT THE MURDER OF NURSE MARIA AMADI


Contrary to the rumor making the rounds that some suspected and remanded employees of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu (FNHE) had a hand in the murder of Nurse Maria Amadi (PhD), emerging information reveals that the abominable act might have been committed by armed robbers.

The information was availed by Evangelist Tochukwu Obiora (alias Iko Nso), who disclosed he is the Assistant State Commander of Enugu State Neighborhood Watch, to the University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the professional association of nurses with a minimum qualification of first degree in nursing. UGONSA has been urging those with useful information regarding the gruesome murder of the late nurse to come forth with such for the interest of justice to the late nurse and the entire nursing community. The Enugu State Secretary of the Association (UGONSA), Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver in the company of the National Secretary, Nurse Nshi Goodluck Ikechukwu, had visited Evangelist Tochukwu Obiora on Thursday, May 2, 2019 and on Monday, May 6, 2019, at Ugboye in Abakpa-Nike Enugu, where they got the useful information concerning where the focus of security agencies should be at to possibly unravel the truth about Nurse Amadi’s gruesome murder.

Evangelist Tochukwu Obiora, as a top-notch leader of Enugu State Neighborhood Watch, does not only cover the Trans-Ekulu axis where Nurse Maria Amadi was murdered, he is also the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Ugboye and Ugbowa neighbourhood Watch in Abakpa-Nike, Enugu and has been a frontline neighborhood security officer of Enugu State for the past 21 years.

Evangelist Obiora opined that the story about the involvement of some employees of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu (FNHE) in the murder of Nurse Amadi (for which some of them are presently incarcerated in Enugu prison) looks like a fabrication made by some workers to get at their fellow workers who they have had one case or the other with (one of which is still pending in a law court) following the protracted crisis that has been rocking the hospital.

According to him, the intelligence he had so far gathered is strongly narrowing his suspicion to a gang of armed robbers that have been terrorizing Trans-Ekulu in the recent time as those behind the unfortunate criminal mischief that befell Nurse Amadi.

“Before her incidence, I submitted intelligence report to the police that the area has been marked for indiscriminate attacks by a certain gang over an issue they had with the Trans-Ekulu police and for which they had vowed to make Trans-Ekulu boil” (i.e., “casting the area” – a term used by criminal gangs to portray spoiling show for people, police, in this case). “I made the intelligence report to the police to help forestall impending criminal activities in the area but the effort they have so far made seems not enough to nip such in the bud” said Evangelist Obiora (Iko Nso).

Continuing, Evangelist Obiora said, “Since the atrocious murder of the woman by this suspected gang of armed robbers, the same group had continued to terrorize Trans-Ekulu/Abakpa axis and had carried out several armed robbery attacks and equally murdered other people in the same area the woman was murdered. Since March till date, Trans-Ekulu/Abakpa axis of Enugu East LGA where this gang operates in has not had peace”.

“When some members of the gang were apprehended, instead of uncovering their involvement in the murder of the nurse, for which I had tipped them off, the Police later released them without establishing their link to it, reason for which I am yet to understand”.

 “My submission remains that the murder has nothing to do with the workers of the FNHE, who were arrested and detained on the allegation that the murdered woman reported before her demise that, they were the ones that sent assassins to kill her.  This case does not look like that of assassins at all. Common security sense tells me that assassins would not shoot on the leg, the tummy or the shoulder, as was reported in this case, but would aim for the head or chest and would have ensured that the woman was confirmed dead before zooming off especially giving the consideration that they operated freely unchallenged by any security operative while their atrocious act lasted”. “If not, why have they not arrested even one of the alleged ‘assassins’ till now”?

“I know the right people to suspect as the murderers; they are a gang of robbers and cultists. I am very ready to testify anywhere I am called to come and testify. I have the intelligence that the robbers/killers took off from Ugbowa in Abakpa-Nike and what looks like an affirmation to my submission is that one of them had regretted their action in an open place” – Evangelist Obiora added.

Evangelist Obiora further questioned the veracity of the rumour that Late Nurse Maria Amadi mentioned the name of some persons as suspects in her case, after she was shot, either in the police station or in the hospital (to any doctor or nurse that was involved in her treatment) or to the person that brought her to the hospital, as mounting evidence does not lay credence to such.

This query was in line with the independent findings of members of UGONSA, Enugu State Chapter, in an investigation led by Nurse Andalyn Iheagu and Nurse (Barr.) Onuh Beatrice Akudo who had visited the doctors and nurses that participated in her treatment, the police station where she was taken to, and the person that took her to both the police station and the hospital following the gun shot and all confirmed the she never mentioned any person’s name.

Evangelist Obiora challenged those propagating the rumor that the deceased mentioned some people’s name in a statement she made to the police and to the doctors and nurses that attended to her in ESUTH Teaching Hospital, Parklane, to name the officers or the doctors or nurses to whom such statement was made to.  

“To use the unfortunate incident of the gruesome murder of Nurse Maria Amadi (one of the finest professional Nigerian nurses) by some workers in the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu as an avenue to nail other workers they had issues with was preposterous especially as the whims of being on the deceased’s side should be altruistic inclination to unraveling the real truth and culprits behind her gruesome murder rather than playing primordial politics of attrition” – Evangelist Obiora submitted.

Speaking to a group of journalist on Monday, May 6, 2019, at Enugu, after the mind blowing revelation made by Evangelist Obiora, Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver (the Enugu State Secretary of UGONSA) and Nurse Nshi Goodluck Ikechukwu (the National Secretary of UGONSA) strongly condemned the killing of Nurse Maria Amadi and averred that such a dastardly and barbaric act has left the heart of the nursing community shattered.
According to them, what UGONSA, as an association demands, is a real justice anchored on verifiable truth and not a hearsay or token justice rooted on sentiments and vendetta.

“We in the nursing community are critically hit by the unfortunate incident because the deceased is a nurse and two out of the three persons that are currently incarcerated in Enugu Prison are nurses.  The persons that are currently in detention were arrested on the premise that the late Nurse Amadi made a statement in which she mentioned their names as her killers but investigations have revealed that she never mentioned any person’s name”.

“Our hearts bleed the more because we are like a father whose daughter was murdered and when he cried out that the murderers should be hunted and brought to book, his remaining daughter and son were, instead, accused of being the killers of their sister over unverifiable stories and thus got arrested and incarcerated”.

“Since it has been verily established that late Nurse Maria Amadi never mentioned the names of anybody as her killers or as people that sent assassins to kill her, we demand that the people that are currently in detention over the allegation that she mentioned their names be forthwith released while investigation should be extended to unravel the rightful culprits”.  

“We salute the courage and boldness of Evangelist Tochukwu Obiora, the Chief Security Officer of Ugboye and Ugbowa Abakpa Neighbourhood Watch and the Assistant Commander of Enugu State Neighbourhood Watch, for coming out at this auspicious moment, against all odds, to give useful information about the circumstances and persons involved in the gruesome murder of our colleague”.

“We passionately call on the government of Enugu State and all the security agencies to approach Evangelist Tochukwu Obiora and collaborate with him to get the alleged culprits arrested and brought to book for the interest of justice to the deceased and the entire nursing community as a whole” – the UGONSA scribes said.

Recall that Late Nurse Maria Amadi, Head of Nursing Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu and a mother-of-two, was allegedly shot dead on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at about 4pm at Federal Housing Estate, Trans-Ekulu, Enugu, by unknown gunmen.

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