Nurses critical to achieving Universal Health Coverage, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the overwhelming importance and critical roles nurses and midwives play in the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

He made this known yesterday in Abuja during the launch of the “Nursing Now” campaign organized by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses, aimed at raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide.
Buhari explained that practitioners of nursing can help drive the effort to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, he said: “The theme of this launch “Nurses: From Bedside to Board Room” is fitting because it highlights the link between these core aspects, and emphasizes the need for nurses to be involved in the development of the health system in Nigeria.

“This Administration initiated the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), a flagship programme to ensure that vulnerable Nigerians get access to quality and affordable service delivery towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). I am pleased to say we have made good progress with the programme, with our commitment now attracting support from donors and development partners.

“The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) initiated the Community Midwifery Programme to ensure that midwives are retained in their community after training and a fair remuneration is paid. This strategy will provide needed skilled manpower for safe delivery and reduce infant and maternal mortality in rural areas.


“Nurses are an integral group in health care delivery, who have the potential to shape the image of their facility or even of the healthcare profession. Government will continue to support the development of the nursing profession and by that, urge you to remain faithful to the key values of the profession, as exemplified by the icons of compassionate nursing like Florence Nightingale, whose dedication, integrity, empathy and humility are the stuff of legend. Nurses are often, as the story goes, the beacon of hope for many a patient”.

According to the The Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, “A variety of problems continue to undermine the contributions and impact of nurses and midwives in Nigeria. In view of this, Nursing Now campaign should target not only the health care professionals, policy makers and care givers, but also key stakeholders such as school pupils, households and communities, including community and religious leaders, private sectors and civil society organizations.

“There are also a lot of regulations that are obsolete. The law we use to regulate the nursing profession in Nigeria needs a review, and is a challenge to the effective practice of nursing in Nigeria. Often than not, Nigerian nurses are not involved in health policy formulation”. We call on government and other health stakeholders to involve nurses in policy formulation and let them be prominent in the boardrooms, not only as clinicians.

“There is a gap in what is expected and what we have on ground in Nigeria in terms of manpower. Those who are adequately engaged are less than 120,000. By WHO’s standard, we are supposed to be close to 350,000 nurses”.

In his remark, the Officer-in-Charge of the World Health Organization (WH), Dr. Peter Clement, said that Nurses and Midwives are critical to achieving SDG 3 especially Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as they are the main reference of care and vital for delivery of quality health care services. “A healthy community is a wealthy community. Therefore, nurses contribute significantly to the socio-economic developments of the country,” he said.



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  1. Aliyu Abdussalam Baba says:

    Good movements for the development of our novel profession.

    1. Abdul9ja says:

      Thank you for your comment


        Up nursing profession with God we will reach the top, may God bless nursing profession and guide our leaders thanks.