From Bala TANKO, Jos
Nurses and midwives in Plateau have threatened to withdraw their services from the fight against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) over alleged non-provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) by the state government.
The health personnel, under the auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Plateau council, made the threat at a news briefing in Jos, on Saturday.
Although no case of coronavirus has been recorded in the state, Briskila Dabi, chairman of the council, said the risk involved in treating coronavirus cases is great and it would be unfair to expose health workers to such without any form of protection.
She said members have been directed not to attend to any patient with a suspected case of coronavirus without protective gears.
“Everyone knows about the danger of COVID-19 and it will be unfair on the side of government to expose our members to the virus without personal protection equipment,” she said.
“We have decided to down tools in all health centres, including hospitals and isolation centres if the state government will not provide our members with the desired protection equipment.
“It is no longer news the havoc the ravaging virus is causing to doctors, nurses and midwives across the globe; we need protection if we must serve our fellow citizens as patriots.
“As an association, we are (Aware) of the shortage of (PPE) in our hospitals and isolation centres; consequently, we have directed our members not to attend to any patient with a suspected case of coronavirus without PPE.”
Briskila Dabit, who declared: “No (PPE), Don’t Risk Yourself”, called for the implementation of isolation and barrier nursing techniques appropriately, as well as control ward traffic by limiting the number of visitors to hospitals.
She also urged the state government to “use this opportunity to develop the health sector which needs serious intervention”.
“Lastly, I urge all nurses in the state to take extreme care and sacrifice more during this period by adhering to all precautionary measures recommended by Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and WHO to prevent transmission of the virus and stay safe,” Dabit said.