Wednesday, 8 July 2020

PUBLIC NOTICE









The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) wishes to announce that its 20th National Professional Conference & Scientific update scheduled to hold from Monday 5th October to Friday 9th October 2020 at Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria, has been postponed till further notice. Collection of abstracts continues. Those that submitted abstracts shall be notified personally about changes in events and the situation regarding the acceptance/rejection of their abstracts.

Signed:

Nurse P.O. Eteng
Ag. National Secretary
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Monday, 6 July 2020

INTERNSHIP & PROPER PLACEMENT: UGONSA ENGAGES BAYELSA STATE HMB









The Chief Medical Director,
Bayelsa State Hospital Management Board,
Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Attention:
The Director of Nursing Services,
Hospital Management Board, Yenagoa,
Bayelsa State.
             &
The Director of Nursing Services,
Ministry of Health, Yenagoa,
Bayelsa State.

Sir/Madam,
NON-IMPLEMENTATION OF PROPER PLACEMENT OF GRADUATE NURSES AND EXCLUSION OF NURSE INTERN POSITION FROM INTERNSHIP ADVERT OF THE BAYELSA STATE HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT BOARD

Nightingales’ greetings from members of this association.

       2.      The report we received from the Bayelsa State chapter of our association on the above subject matter, prompted our writing to abreast you with extant issues on internship and proper placement of graduate nurses [.i.e. Registered Nurses (RN) with Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree].  

        3. Kindly note that on September 8, 2016, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) released a circular, Ref No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97, which prescribed compulsory internship training for fresh graduates of BNSc degree and their extant placement post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) as Grade Level 09 (.i.e CONHESS 08). The release of the referred circular was sequel to National Council on Establishment (NCE) meeting held on July 22, 2016 in Minna, Niger State, which Bayelsa State Government was ably part and parcel of.

     4. Following the release of the circular, the placement of graduate nurses in the civil service anywhere in Nigeria became Grade Level 09 post-NYSC (.i.e. CONHESS 08).

    5. This was further evident in the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) Circular, Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June 2017, which succinctly spelt out that the extant placement of graduates of BNSc degree post-NYSC as CONHESS 08 effective from 8th September 2016 (being the date of release of the circular by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation) and that Nursing officers who were already in the service before this date, and are still below this new base shall be upgraded to the new base (.i.e. CONHESS 08) effective from the said date of release of the circular (.i.e. 8th September 2016).

   6. Aside the FMOH circulars, another circular from the office of the HCSF, Ref No.B63279/S.7/II/T/273dated 24th April 2002 clearly stated that when there is an adjustment of salary grade level as a result of Enhanced Entry Point (Base Grade) to a cadre in the Civil Service, the adjustment shall affect officers within the cadre whose positions fall below the new entry point.

   7.  Consequent from the above-referenced circulars, all nursing officers who were below CONHESS 08 prior to the date of release of the circular became automatically promoted to CONHESS 08 effective from the date of release of the circular (.i.e. 8th September 2016).  

    8. Furthermore, to ensure speedy implementation of the internship and new entry point for the graduate nurses by all institutions that employ nurses, the FMOH vide another circular Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018, and also vide a reminder, Ref No.C2920/5.3/C.2/1/155 dated 5th February 2019, directed all heads of healthcare institutions to expressly implement the internship and proper placement of graduate nurses in their various institutions. This resulted in massive implementation of the circular in many institutions across the federation.

    9.  We were surprised to get the report that the progressive Bayelsa of all States is yet to implement these circulars in its Hospital Management Board (HMB).

    10. We therefore most respectfully demand that you kindly implement the internship and proper placement of graduates of BNSc degree in the Bayelsa State Hospital Management Board without further delay in the spirit of the extant laws as espoused by the referenced circulars.

     11. Attached herewith are the referenced circulars and documents labeled in the following order:
Annexure A: Complaint from the Bayelsa State chapter of our association
Annexure B: Circular from the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation   (HCSF), Ref No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 dated September 8, 2016.
Annexure C: Circular from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June 2017.
Annexure D: Circular from the office of the HCSF, Ref No.B63279/S.7/II/T/273dated 24th April 2002.
Annexure E: Circular from the FMOH, Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018.
Annexure F: Circular from the FMOH, Ref No.C2920/5.3/C.2/1/155 dated 5th February 2019
Signed:

       

 CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                        NURSE P.O. ETENG
  National President                                                      Ag.National Secretary

CC: 
Head of Service, Bayelsa State,
Office of the Head of Service
State Government Secretariat, Yenagoa,
Bayelsa State.

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Thursday, 25 June 2020

LCN: UGONSA WRITES DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT




UGONSA has written the Delta State government over the recent move by the State to start the controversial LCN programme. The letter, Ref No. UG/NAT/20/DSCOH/01 dated June 23, 2020, and titled, "BEFORE THE HEALTH SYSTEM OF DELTA STATE IS DESTROYED" was addressed to the Delta State Commissioner of Health and copied to the Governor and Director of Nursing, Delta State. Below is the full text of the letter:
















The Delta State Commissioner of Health,
Delta State Ministry of Health,
Asaba, Delta State.
Sir/Madam,
BEFORE THE HEALTH SYSTEM OF DELTA STATE IS DESTROYED
We warmly extend to your person and esteemed office the Nightingales' greetings from the leadership and members of the University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the professional association of nurses with a minimum qualification of first degree in nursing.

      2.  The news reaching us that the Delta State Ministry of Health (DSMOH) under your able watch is planning to introduce a Licensed Community Nursing (LCN) programme in the State prompted us to write you to give you insight on the dark sides of the programme lest it further dilutes the health system of the State. 
  
     3.  We make haste to reach out to you because we believe you must have been misled by the faulty circular on the LCN programme, Ref No. N&MCN/SG/RO/CIR/24/VOL.4/152 dated March 3, 2020, which emanated from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) (marked and attached as Annexure A). The circular falsely alleged that the reason the council was introducing the LCN programme is that there is a “gross shortage of nurses” occasioned by a mass migration of Nurses & Midwives to urban areas and other countries. This incorrect statement is capable of deceiving any well-meaning person and the unsuspecting public on the issue of availability of nurses for employment in our health system.

     4. One thing with nursing is that it is very complex and forms the nucleus of healthcare delivery be it medical, surgical, psychiatry, rehabilitation, palliative or, any other type of care. Such a complex role can only be handled efficiently and effectively by sound brains which the existing nursing programmes attract and parade in adequate numbers and not daft school leavers which the purported LCN programme seeks to flood nursing with.

     5. The existing nursing training in Nigeria meets the best international standard and verily equips the Nigerian nurses with the necessary knowledge, skills and latitude for critical thinking, clinical reasoning & judgment, and the clinical competence to play and coordinate independent, dependent and interdependent roles in the healthcare delivery system anywhere in the world. Hence, when they migrate outside the country they are able to fit in and perform excellently well in the health system of the developed world such the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and so on, where our political class throng for treatment for lack of confidence in our own health system. What this shows is that the Nigerian nurses are not the reason our health system is backward but the faulty system and faulty policies such as this misguided introduction of LCN programme.

     6. The LCN programme primarily seeks to lower the existing standard of nursing education via the introduction of a 2-years programme for a lower cadre of Nurses with having a very poor O’level result (.i.e. at least a credit in English and Biology) being the principal admission requirement. Contrasted with the current situation for the existing nursing programmes in the schools of nursing and the departments of nursing in the university where entry requirements of five credits in English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics is the basis for admission you will understand that the LCN is nothing but a fig tree to hand over the complex roles of nursing to individuals that have limited mental capability to carry out such roles when we have enough qualified unemployed nurses and midwives currently roaming the streets in search of nursing & midwifery jobs.

      7. That the NMCN issued the LCN circular on a false and faulty premise of “gross shortage of nurses” has been attested to by series of empirical facts. Mounting evidence shows that unemployed nurses and midwives are in excess and want to be employed and deployed to rural community settings. For example, a study conducted by this association (marked and attached as Annexure B) showed that at least 41% of Nigerian Nurses & Midwives produced in a session remain unemployed, and 95% of them are willing to work in the rural community settings if given the opportunity. Again, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) Delta State Council in her enumeration of unemployed nurses and midwives of Delta State origin found that about 1500 nurses and midwives of the State origin are unemployed (kindly refer to the report marked and attached as Annexure C).

     8. From the foregoing, you can see that the problem is never a shortage of qualified nurses and midwives for employment but a gross shortage of opportunity for them in our healthcare delivery system even in rural community settings.

     9. On this note, we respectfully admonish that you should jettison the negative deception of the NMCN LCN circular and move to positive a direction that will strengthen the root of the healthcare system which is shaky everywhere in Nigeria (and not only in Delta State) by creating employment opportunity in the rural communities for the teeming number of unemployed nurses and midwives of Delta State origin with commensurate motivation of rural posting allowance.

    10. Furthermore, in the spirit and letters of the task-shifting & task-sharing policy and to ensure that highly skilled and competent nurses that have diagnostic and prescriptive authority are available all the time in the rural communities, we recommend and urge that the Delta State Ministry of Health (DSMOH) partners with the NMCN and the departments of nursing in the universities offering nursing in Delta State to create an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Programme (Nurse Practitioners’ programme) for the holders of Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree who majored in Public health nursing awardable and licensable via a masters’ degree in Community Health Nursing  (Please kindly refer to page 14 of the Task-shifting & Task-sharing policy document on Recommendations on the Service delivery at the Community Level hereby marked and attached as Annexure D).

    11. Having Community Health Nurse Practitioners working in association with Community Health Physicians in the rural communities of Delta State for prompt diagnosis and treatment of diseases & illnesses, as is obtainable in developed countries, will go a long way in changing the narratives of inadequate healthcare coverage bedeviling the rural communities.    

PRAYER
The good people of Delta State deserve to be cared for by educated, well-trained, competent, and highly skilled nursing workforce and their health and well-being should be the priority of the State government. Therefore, we respectfully demand that the DSMOH

                I.  totally stops its voyage into the training of the so-called LCNs which portends entrusting the lives of the good people of Delta State unto the care of the weakest brains among the secondary school leavers. Nursing is a complex profession that deals with human lives. Those whom people’s lives are entrusted unto their care must have the requisite mental capability and must be well educated, trained, skilled and competent to carry out such tasks effectively and efficiently.
   
         II. starts recruiting and deploying to the rural community settings at least 100 (one hundred) Registered Nurses and Midwives including those with BNSc degree every year to boost the availability of skilled nursing workforce in the rural areas.

         III. liaise with the NMCN and the universities offering nursing in Delta State to start offering Masters’ degree in Community Health Nursing leading to licensure as Advanced Practice Registered Community Health Nurse (.i.e Community Health Nurse Practitioner) who will work in association with Community Health Physicians to diagnose, and prescribe treatments for common diseases and ailments in the rural community settings in the spirit and letter of the task-shifting & task-sharing policy.

Submitted with deepest sense of respect and responsibility.

                        Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                  NURSE P.O. ETENG
  National President                                         Ag.National Secretary

CC: Director, Nursing Services Delta State.
        His Excellency, The Governor of Delta State.  
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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

UGONSA WRITES FMOH OVER UITH EXCLUSION OF BNSC HOLDERS FROM ITS EMPLOYMENT ADVERT


The Honourable Minister of Health,
Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH),
New Federal Secretariat Complex,
Phase III, Ahmadu Bello Way,
Central Business District,
P.M.B 083, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria.

Attention:
              The Director Human Resources &,
              The Director Hospital services, FMOH

Sir/Madam,
EXCLUSION OF REGISTERED NURSES AND MIDWIVES WITH BNSC IN THE RECENT PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT ADVERT MADE BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN TEACHING HOSPITAL IS A WANTON MARGINALIZATION, DEBASEMENT AND BALKANIZATION OF THE NURSING PROFESSION: A REQUEST FOR URGENT INTERVENTION OF THE MINISTRY

The University graduate of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the professional association of nurses with a minimum qualification of Bachelor degree in nursing once more brings you her Nightingale’s greetings and wish to thank you for your astute efforts so far in trying to address the perennial wrongs and marginalization of the nursing profession in our health system especially the issue of under placement of the graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc).

      2.  However, we observed that the anomalous behaviour of the management of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) is antithetical to the commendable efforts the FMOH under your watch is making to foster a sense of equity, fairness and inclusiveness among all the healthcare professionals to strengthen a harmonious work relationship in the healthcare delivery system of our dear the country.

      3. In its recent advert for recruitment of healthcare professionals, the UITH brazenly excluded the Registered Nurses (RN) and Registered Midwives (RM) with Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree. The divisive advert published June 3rd, 2020 and circulated widely via the electronic media, which ostensibly aimed at balkanizing the nursing profession and pinching nurses against each other have been confirmed by our association as truly emanating from the UITH evidenced by domicile of the advert on the official website of the institution with this URL: https://www.uithilorin.org.ng/staffnurseadvert.

      4. Most worrisome is that UITH made it appear as if the selective target of RN/RM with BNSc degree for exclusion in their advert is a new policy of the FMOH as our preliminary engagement with some management staff of the hospital saw them irrationally make a fig leaf to put the FMOH in the loop.
  
      5.  However, when our previous demand on the institution for proper placement of the RN/RM with BNSc degree [vide our letter Ref. No: UGONSA/018/UITH/CMD/01dated 30th June 2018 hereby attached] which was reluctantly done without implementing the financial aspect of the upgrade as was done by other hospitals under the same FMOH is indexed with the current action of the UITH it becomes understandable the UITH management is on a lone inglorious voyage to marginalize and debase the nursing profession.

     6.  That this selective exclusion was directed only to the University Graduates of Nursing and not to the University Graduates of all the core Healthcare Professions portends that the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UITH is divisive and unfit to manage the affairs of a conglomerate of diverse people and interests working together for a common course as is the case of the healthcare delivery system.

      7.   This provocative action of the CMD and the management of the UITH if not nipped in the bud has the propensity to open up a new wave of avoidable agitation in our health system which shall adversely affect and undermine the candid efforts the FMOH is making to ensure a sustainable qualitative care delivery to the Nigerian masses.

     8.  We viewed this disdainful exclusion of RN/RM with BNSc degree in the employment advert by UITH as not only a well-calculated attempt to unjustly steer nurses with higher qualification in nursing away from the clinical area but also as scornful ridicule of the educational attainment of nurses and midwives. This is especially as what qualifies and justifies the inclusion of the University Graduates of other core healthcare professions in the advert also justify why their counterparts in nursing should be included.

     9. The Bachelor degree in nursing which has become a nightmare to the CMD UITH and his management staff took most nurses and midwives excruciating pain and hard work to get. Some spent 3 years in the school of nursing and 18 months in the school of midwifery before enrolling to spend another 5 years for the BNSc programme only to be bizarrely told that they are not qualified for employment in a Federal government-owned teaching hospital just because they took pain to develop themselves professionally to be able to add qualitative value to nursing services.  

PRAYER
We humbly and passionately call on your esteemed office to urgently

       1.  direct the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) and his management team to review their recent employment advert and make provision for the graduate nurses (.i.e RN/RM with BNSc degree) in the advert.

     2.  pay the graduate nurses whose placement were adjusted in line with the extant circulars on placement of nurses the accruing financial benefits related to the adjustment of their grades.

      3.  caution the CMD and the management of the UITH to desist from their open resentment of the nursing profession and its higher education qualifications and to start carrying all the healthcare professional along as crucial and indispensable part of the healthcare team.

Submitted with deepest sense of respect.


Signed:

NUR. OJO OPEYEMI                                                          NUR. OLOYE ABIOLA  
President, Western Zone                                                           Secretary, Western Zone


CC: Director, Nursing Services FMOH
       Deputy Director Nursing Services FMOH
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Sunday, 21 June 2020

UGONSA FELICITATES WITH DR ABDULRAHMAN MUHAMMAD SANI















Dr Abdulrahman Muhammad Sani
The Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences,
Usmanu Dan Fodio University
Sokoto, Sokoto State.

Dear sir,

            UGONSA CONGRATULATES YOU ON YOUR NEW APPOINTMENT
The news of your recent appointment as the Dean Faculty of Allied Health Sciences of the prestigious Usmanu Dan Fodio University Sokoto was received by the leadership and members of UGONSA with great joy. 

  1. However, it did not come to us as a surprise owing to your antecedents of vigorous personal and professional development that have seen you make notable giant accomplishments in the profession.
  2. We appreciate your hard work and commitment to changing the narratives of nursing in Nigeria and lilting its public image and respectability, and therefore verily urge that you use this divine uplift as a personal and professional communion to dignify nursing as a profession that produces seasoned professionals with unrivaled managerial prowess.
  3. Please be aware that you have our full support and do not hesitate to enlist our assistance anywhere you consider the association useful in improving the fortunes of the department of nursing within your faculty.  
  4. We pray the almighty God to continue to garnish you with sound health and vitality to engage the tasking demand of your new position and wish you every success in your new duties.

Please kindly extend our appreciation and warmest regards to the Vice-Chancellor and management of the Usmanu Dan Fodio University for finding a nurse worthy, competent and qualified to handle the complex affairs of the faculty.

Signed:

                                                                
           Nur. B.B Afoi                                                                           Nur. M.A. Garba
UGONSA President Northern Zone                                      UGONSA Secretary Northern zone



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Thursday, 4 June 2020

OBSERVATIONS OF CONTAINMENT EFFORTS TOWARDS COVID - 19 PANDEMIC IN NIGERIA BY UGONSA NORTHERN ZONE






The University Graduate of Nursing Sciences Association (UGONSA) Northern zone, an umbrella body of all graduates of nursing sciences in Nigeria has observed with keen interest activities of Governments, Non-Governmental organisations, organized private sector and individuals channeled towards the fight against COVID-19 and wish to observe as follows:


1  1. The actions of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) against COVID-19 as set up by President Muhammadu Buhari and headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Gida Mustapha, deserves commendation and support from all well-meaning Nigerians. The pattern of daily update on the situation is admirable to say the least.

2   2. Our association reckon that the Nigerian Centre for disease control (NCDC) has been on top of the situation right from inception providing expert leadership in containing the situation. Our association acknowledge and appreciate the NCDC for establishing and accrediting more testing centres within the northern geopolitical zones in the country which has scaled up testing and identification of cases.

3   3. We equally appreciate the efforts of the Northern State Governments in this fight against the dreaded COVID-19 and urge them to double their efforts to effectively manage the established isolation centres by enforcing the relevant laws in place meant to check the spread of the disease.

4   4. UGONSA northern zone registers its appreciation to Governors that have demonstrated uncommon concern for welfare of health workers and relatively safe practice environments especially to nurses who risk their lives daily through the provision of personal protective equipment’s (PPEs) and motivation welfare packages to appreciate and encourage more of their altruistic sacrifices.

5  5. While we commend the recent decision by the Federal Government to review the hazard allowances of health workers for three months with effect from March 2020. UGONSA wishes to observe that the disparity in the application of the same percentage of consolidated salary across board obviously short-changed nurses who in reality face the greatest clinical hazard risk among the healthcare team due to their closest round-the-clock proximity to patients. UGONSA, therefore, calls for an immediate review of the wage package as well as the condition of service for nurses at the State and Federal level because they remain the least paid and the lowest placed in the civil service among the healthcare professionals despite that they are the heartbeat and the soul of the healthcare delivery system who centrally coordinate the activities of the patients and other healthcare team members.

6    6. UGONSA calls on State Governors to emulate the Federal Government and improve on the incentives of health workers especially for the nurses who are the main frontliners.

7   7.  UGONSA is worried by the avoidable disagreements between some Northern Governors and health workers over PPEs and welfare packages that have led to strikes and calls on the Governors especially those of Plateau and Kaduna States to prioritize the health of their citizens by taking decisive actions to motivate health workers and avoid situations that precipitate health workers’ strikes while promptly initiating swift actions to dialogue with the striking health workers.

8   8. Our professional association reminds Governments and nurses of their primary purpose which is the health and security of the poor masses and call for more actions on the health and security of the nation.

9  9. UGONSA observes that there are still significant gaps in the provision of PPEs and safe working environment and strongly appeal to the various State Governments to address these gaps to protect frontline workers especially nurses who play the role of infantry soldiers in this COVID-19 war by making the provision of PPEs constant and regular.  

    10.  Although the northern states have their peculiar challenges, UGONSA observes the significant gaps in policy direction between some northern states and the federal government. The association calls on State Governments to measure up in keeping a unified policy direction with the federal government through the PTF in the protection of citizens and frontline health workers against the dreaded disease.

      11.  UGONSA calls on the Government of Kogi State and the PTF to, in the interest of the poor masses and health workers, hastily resolve the ongoing disagreements on the Covid-19 pandemic. UGONSA particularly calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to step in to resolve the contending issues.

      12.  We strongly urge Governments to step up on facilitating local solutions for COVID-19 from our rich reserve of local traditional medicines.

    13.  As Governments gradually ease lockdowns, UGONSA beckons the general public to adhere strictly to the guidelines established by NCDC such as social distancing, use of face mask, regular hand washing and limiting movements and group gatherings so that we don’t lose the gains made in the fight against the disease.

    14.  UGONSA Northern zone hails nurses for upholding the tenets of nursing such as health promotion, illness prevention, health restoration and alleviation of suffering despite working in a very tough and challenging environment and urge them not to be tired of doing their good work to humanity.  

     15.  In conclusion, we beseech all to be patient and patriotic to our fatherland and pray to God to end the scourge of Covid-19.

Thank you and God bless us all.

                                                              Signed:

                                                                
   Nur. B.B Afoi                                                                                Nur. M.A. Garba
UGONSA President Northern Zone                                         UGONSA Secretary Northern zone
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