Tuesday, 6 June 2017

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF 1-DAY STAKEHOLDERS MEETING HELD ON SATURDAY 3rd JUNE, 2017 AT CABRINI CENTRE NEAR FEDERAL NEUROPSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL ENUGU (FNHE), ENUGU STATE



Preamble
The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) a.k.a Graduate Nurses Association of Nigeria (GNAN), the professional association of nurses with a minimum qualification of first degree in nursing science, held her Expanded National Stakeholders’ (ENS) meeting on 3rd June, 2017 where it deliberated on a number of contemporary issues affecting the welfare and progress of its members as well as the growth and development of the Nursing profession and general issues in the Nigerian health system.
Appreciation
Special appreciation goes to the Enugu State Chapter of the association and its members for their hospitality and liveliness that gave the event a successful mean.
Resolutions
 After exhaustive deliberations, the following resolutions were made by the ENS:
 
1. The ENS observed that scenarios which triggered the current epidemics of meningitis witnessed in the country were preventable and called on Government at all levels and the private sector to revert to and sustain, at all times, the concerted preventive measures deployed during the Ebola scourge in the year 2014 as such has been proven to be capable of containing notable deadly infectious diseases like meningitis, Lassa Fever, Tuberculosis and Ebola. 
    
       2. The ENS commended the Federal Government for its unrelenting effort to make the best out of the country but strongly frowned at the unbearable level of killings and destruction of properties of innocent Nigerians by terrorist groups especially the rampaging herdsmen. The ENS equally frowned at the heightened incidence of kidnappings in the country, which it described as “unacceptable” and called on the Federal Government to apply pragmatic workable measures to stimulate the security agents to rise to the challenge and live up to expectation. 
     
        3. The ENS paid a hearty tribute to all fallen heroes/heroines of nursing and particularly eulogized the contributions of Late Alhaji (Nur.) Suleiman Bello and Late Nur. Ejelonu Justina Obioma. While Late Alhaji (Nur.) Suleiman Bello was the Nurse-Minister of Health for States, who selflessly helped the graduate nurses in particular and the profession in general to achieve some notable feats such as having a director of nursing services at the Federal Ministry of Health. Late Nur. Ejelonu Justina Obioma was the nurse that sacrificed her live to save the entire country from the Ebola scourge by successfully implementing the restriction order placed on Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian diplomat that imported Ebola into Nigeria. 

        4. ENS approved establishment of a memorial fund in honour of Late Nur. Ejelonu Justina Obioma, from which the sum of twenty thousand naira (N20, 000.00) would be given out annually to the best graduating Nursing Student(s) of her Alma Mater, Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki on the interim with a hope of extending such, in the long run, to other schools as the fund grows. This is to ensure that her name and the selfless sacrifice she made for the whole country remains on our lips and in our minds as the association strongly canvasses for a national posthumous honour for her. 

        5. The ENS-in-session strongly emphasized the need for the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to create differential and separate registers for various categories of nurses based on educational qualifications - such as ‘NMCN qualifications only’, B.Sc Nursing/B.N.Sc, M.Sc (Nursing), P.hD (Nursing) and Post P.hD (Nursing) and accordingly called on the council to urgently commence the process of effecting same. 
        6. The ENS observed that some departments of Nursing of Nigerian universities that offer nursing science are yet to align with and cue into the progressive policy of enlisting fresh graduate nurses into UGONSA at their induction ceremonies. Such departments were urged to reach out to the National leadership of the association and get the association involved in their future induction ceremonies to afford their graduands the opportunity of having the needful professional orientation and other benefits afforded by the association. 
       
      7. The ENS also announced the plan of the association to partner with the Journal of Middle East and North African Sciences (JMENAS) for the purpose of elevating its journal, THE NURSING SCOPE, to impact factor status for global outreach and recognition. 
       
    8. The ENS-in-session frowned at the current poor rate of hazard allowance being paid to Nurses/Midwives, which it said was a sign of non-appreciation of the gallant and altruistic efforts and sacrifices made by Nurses and Midwives in client care and handling of epidemics of infectious diseases by the government of Nigeria, and strongly called on the concerned authorities especially the honourable Minister of Health, Head of Service of the Federation, and the executive  Chairman of National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission (NSIWC) – to immediately make an upward review of the hazard allowance in commensuration with the all day, round-the-clock exposure to clinical hazards suffered by Nurses and Midwives.
       
         9. The ENS harshly condemned the non-restoration of teaching allowance to Nurses and Midwives on CONHESS 07 and 08, even when a Federal Ministry of Health’s circular –Ref No.C.2262/T/110 dated 29th July, 2015, directed for its restoration in accordance to the extant circulars from the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission– Ref no.SWC/S/04/S.176/T/73 dated 4th July, 2014. The association maintained that all nurses and midwives, irrespective of grade or cadre, are involved in clients’ care and teaching and as well in clinical tutelage of students on clinical posting and that there is no rational basis for violating the extant circular that authorized the payment of teaching allowance to clinical staff by cruelly withdrawing same from nurses and midwives on CONHESS 07 and 08. Accordingly, the association advised the honourable Minister of Health to urgently see to the end of such ill-treatment deliberately meted out to nurses and midwives with unbridled impunity by restoring the payment of teaching allowance to nurses and midwives on CONHESS 07 and 08. 
      10. The ENS-in-session observed that the date for the UGONSA 2017 National Professional Conference and Scientific Updates scheduled to hold from 10th to 14th July, 2017 was very close to the date of the conference of the West African College of Nursing (WACN). Because a significant number of UGONSA members are also Fellows of the WACN, the association elected to shift the date of her conference from the earlier scheduled date of 10th to 14th July, 2017 to a new date of 25th to 29th September, 2017 as continuing with the date would mount a strenuous burden on members who may struggle to cover both events within the limit of available time as a considerable number have shown strong interest in attending both events. 
      
        11. The ENS equally observed that apart from Enugu, Ebonyi and Rivers states, other states are yet to remit the twenty five thousand naira (N25, 000.00) levied on States for running National office since last ENS held in the year 2014. All the States that are yet to comply were mandated to remit theirs to the UGONSA National Account, 3089525712, First Bank, before the last date of August, 2017. 

        12. ENS mandated States to organize themselves into viable chapters and run sound nursing scientific sessions during the compulsory monthly meetings to reflect and drive the professionalism which the association stands for. 
  
     13. The ENS implored all Chief Medical Directors(s)/Medical Director(s) of government owed hospitals, especially the Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centre(s) (FMCs), that are yet to include nurse interns in their internship training to make such an integral part of their future advertisements for interns and as well rectify the under-placement of the already employed graduate nurses and make further appointments  of graduate nurses post-NYSC to reflect the parity they have with their counterparts in other healthcare disciplines, in the spirit of equity and fairness.
   
         14. ENS noted that NMCN, in its implementation guide for internship programme of the graduates of the B.N.Sc degree, identified 22 Teaching Hospitals as the only accredited centres for the nurses’ internship training, without recourse to the fact that FMCs and some capable private institutions have been handling the internship training of the fresh graduates of other healthcare disciples successfully. This was observed to run contrary to the council’s position during its 2017 Kaduna nurse leadership conference where it emphasized that no restriction was placed on capable institutions, including FMCs and private institutions. ENS strongly called on NMCN to urgently lift this blanket restriction on some capable institutions, especially the FMCs, and allow them to run internship training for nurses as they do for other healthcare disciplines to hasten the development of our nascent internship programme. This should be done by reviewing page 9 of the internship guide to include the clause - “All Federal Medical Centres and capable Private Institutions”.
     15. Finally, the ENS-in-session applauded the ongoing campaign against quackery by individuals and various group of nurses on social and electronic media and enjoined that such should be aggressively sustained as quackery has remained a rooted albatross in the profession and has dealt a devastating blow to our public image and respectability.

Signed:

Chief (Hon.) Solomon.E.O Egwuenu – National President
Nur. Goodluck .I. Nshi                       – National Secretary
Nur. Afoi Barry                                   – National PRO and Chairman of Communiqué Committee
Nur. Nwodo Chijioke Olive                – Secretary of Communiqué committee

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