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Ministerial nomination: Nurses express concern over alleged neglect



Ministerial nomination: Nurses express concern over alleged neglect

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has expressed disastisfaction over alleged neglect in the ministerial nominations of President Bola Tinubu.

Deborah Yusuf, Chairman of NANNM, FCT Chapter, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday at the cultural carnival of the nurses, food beverage and craft exhibition.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was part of the activities marking the 2023 FCT Nurses Week, which began on Friday.

Yusuf expressed disappointment at the president’s ministerial nominees, saying there was no single nurse on the list, and that this did not go down well with the association.

The chairman who stated that nurses were relegated to the background, wondered if there were no nurses to represent the profession in the president’s cabinet.


She, however, appealed to the president to look into the issue and redress it by appointing nurses into his government in ministerial positions, personal assistants and special assistants.

“We are not happy with this situation; we are appealing to President Tinubu to look into that.

“We have so many nurses with good qualifications that can stand the test of the time; government should be fair in whatever it is doing, all other professionals are accommodated on the list but there is no nurse.

“This is unfair, nurses are respected all over the world, we have nurses who are surgeons general, directors general outside Nigeria, but in Nigeria nurses have been relegated to the background.

“We are not happy about this, all we are looking for is fair share because we are part of the society; let us equally enjoy the same privileges other people are enjoying, nurses are vital to the healthcare delivery system.


“You can have the best doctors, the best radiologists, the best life scientists but if you don’t have the nurse that will administer the medication, the exercise is in futility; nurses are always on duty 24/7.

“So we are calling on the government to look at the nurses and elevate us; let us have a voice; let us have our own share,” she stressed.

One of the cultural displays at the event.

The chairman also called on government, particularly the minister of health, to look into the challenges confronting the nursing profession in terms of reviewing and upgrading the Consolidated Health Workers Salary Structure (COHESS).

Yusuf, who noted that COHESS had not been reviewed for a very long time, also called for a review of allowances the nurses were entitled to such as hazard, uniform, rural, shift and call duty.


She said part of the challenges were the
reasons medical workers, particularly the nurses, were leaving the shores of the country, calling it the Japa syndrome.

She stated earlier that the cultural carnival was basically organised to promote unity among the nurses while in their workplaces and the nation at large.

According to her, the nurses want to show the world that they are also in the cultural diversity of the country and to unite Nigerians, adding that whatever the country is doing without the unity of the people, it has not gotten it right.

She called on nurses nationwide to be united, and keep away ethnicity and religion differences for the betterment of the country and nursing profession in particular.



Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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