Medical Personnel at an Isolation Centre in Lagos State

Shortage of COVID-19 PPEs, others for healthcare personnel in Lagos

* NANNM calls for insurance cover, improved hazard allowance for nurses

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
As the Lagos State Government activates more measures and intensifies efforts at curbing the further spread of the distressing Coronavirus (COVID-19), nurses under the auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in the state have expressed concerns over the serious shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and unavailability of welfare packages for healthcare workers.

Comrade Israel Blessing, Chairman of the NANNM, Lagos Council, in a statement, said most of the expected PPEs were unavailable for use, thus exposing the nurses to avoidable health risks.

Some of the affected nurses, she said, have tested positive to COVID-19, and have presented themselves at the isolation centre for management.

Comrade Israel stated: “This set of people will require immediate activation of their insurance policy.

“Also, about 25 nurses are on self-quarantine after being exposed to cases of COVID-19.

“This is telling on the already strained manpower at various health facilities, making the work overwhelming for nurses.

The NANNM Lagos Council Chairman added that it becomes essential that the following areas of interest concerning the welfare of her members in Lagos State are addressed as a matter of urgency.

Israel emphasised the need for the improvement in provision and supply of PPEs, including surgical masks, N95 nose masks, latex and elbow gloves, disposable gowns, insurance cover for nurses, and enhanced hazard allowance for all healthcare workers.

“Nurses are made to suffer avoidable consequences arising from poor conditions of service and lack of recognition.

“Nurses who form the majority of the frontline healthcare professionals in the society are being subjected to hardship and diverse risks while performing their duties.

“Healthcare providers are working tirelessly, 24/7 like soldiers at the battlefield in genuine efforts to combat this novel disease,” she stated.

Israel added that the association is pained to request support from the management of health service delivery of the state for easy transportation, provision of consumables, supplies and feeding for nurses.

She said: “It is quite unfortunate and very disappointing to witness perpetual lip-service vis-à-vis promises upon promises of robust packages for health workers in Nigeria, whereas little or nothing has been done till date.

“It is pertinent to note that all health workers are frontline and must be treated the same way volunteers are treated and remunerated.”

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