Private Nursing Practitioners Pledge to Fight Quackery

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

The Edo State chapter of the National Association of General Private Nursing Practitioners of Nigeria Nurses (AGPNPN) yesterday in Benin-city, Edo State, vowed to collaborate with other stakeholders in the health sector to fight quackery in the nursing profession.

The group also called for the establishment of a Health Bank like in some other sectors to ease accessibility to healthcare services by Nigerians.

The National President of the association, Balogun Ajiboye, made the call at the opening session of its 12th AGM/Annual Scientific Conference where he also cautioned its members from being part of those training people outside the conventional schools calling them auxiliary nurses.

He said: “Nursing is a profession, and for anybody to practice nursing in Nigeria, he or she must be trained in an institution approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN); he or she must also pass the prescribed examinations and be licenced by the council.

“Quackery in nursing has created a dent in the profession. Quackery activities have sent many Nigerians to their early graves, it is like a cancerous tissue in the body that needs to be cut off immediately I am, therefore, calling on all agencies involved in the eradication of quackery to double their efforts in stamping it out. There must be a collaboration with NMCN and directors of Nursing Services in all the states that are the supervisory authority, they are like governors of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but I am afraid if they are doing their works as expected.

“The current statistics says that 70 percent of Nigerians access health facilities through the private sector, which means that less than 30 per cent access health through government facilities, and ironically, the government spends all their facilities on these 30 percent yet that is not a pass mark. In view of this, we appeal to governments at all levels to create access to finance for the private practitioners, and we solicit for the establishment of Bank of Health; we have Bank of Industry, and Bank of Agriculture, yet we say health is wealth, but why are they not giving health the priority it deserves?”

On her part, the state Director of Nursing Sciences, Mrs. Patricia Osazuwa, said the state government of Governor Godwin Obaseki is committed to stopping quackery in the nursing profession in the state, and advised members of the association to stop the training of auxiliary nurses using their facilities, a practice he said was encouraging others in the health sector to train unqualified nurses.

Also, the state Chairman of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Mrs. Catherine Omonigho Eseine, said there was need for the state government to strengthen the laws that would help for proper prosecution of quacks and those involved in their training.

While declaring open the session, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Francis Eremutha, who was represented by the Head of Department, Nursing, Edo State College of Nursing Sciences, Charles Ogbeide, said the use of the ‘title’ auxiliary nurse is to promote quackery in the profession.

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