NUC Upgrades Benue School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi to Degree Awarding Institution

National University Commission has upgraded the Benue School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi to the Benue State University’s College of Health Sciences, according to Pauline Atser, its Principal.

Atser told the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi on Wednesday that the NUC gave the nod after the school met its requirements for the accreditation.

Atser commended the Benue government for the massive infrastructure that ensured the nod of the NUC, saying that the school would soon commence a Bachelor of Nursing Services programme.

She said: “We have met all the requirements and have now become the university’s College of Health Services. The College will have a Department of Nursing Sciences where we shall offer degree courses in nursing.

“We also hope to offer other related courses.”

Atser said that a major fallout of the NUC recommendation was the absorption of the school’s staff into the university system and employment of new ones to meets emerging demands.
source :

NANNM Happy as Ondo School of Nursing Becomes Degree Awarding Institution

Nurses under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, (NANNM) in Ondo State are happy with the State government for its decision to upgrade the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Akure to a degree awarding institution in line with global standard.

The State Executive Council(SEC) led by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had this week after its meeting approved the absorption of the Nursing School by the University of Medical Science, Ondo (UNIMED) into a degree awarding institution.

The State Chairman of the NANNM, Abel Opeyemi-Oloniyo said the decision of the government would boost the working capacity of nurses and midwives in the state.

Comrade Oloniyo explained that the state government would become first state in Nigeria to carry oiut upgrading of its School of Nursing.

Besides,he described as timely a proposed law aimed at upgrading the School of Health Technology in Akure to a College of Health Technology in line with global standard.

Oloniyo said, “the upgrading of our school of Nursing is a welcome development, we were carried along from day one that government plans to ensure higher status for the school. Schools of Nursing across Nigeria have been given few years, to upgrade their status, we are happy Ondo state is taking a lead in this area, we are going to be the first state in the country to do this”.

On the recent security breach by patients of the state Psychiatric Hospital, Akure, the NANNM Chairman reiterated his call on the state government to improve security of health workers and patients for adequate service delivery.

Speaking on this year’s theme, “Nurses: a voice to lead health is a human right”, a don, Prof Adenike Olaogun described nurses and midwives as most critical personnel in the health care delivery hence the need to ensure their regular training.

The state Commissioner for health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro said the state government was working hard to improve welfare of nurses and other medical workers especially in the areas of capacity building and security at hospitals.

Head of Service(HoS) in the state,Toyin Akinkuotu charged nurses to be more proactive in implementing various state government’s policies in the health sector particularly the introduction of free health care service for pregnant women and children below five year old.
Source : The Nation Newspaper

How to Check Your Name on General Nursing Council of Zambia Register

From the onset, the General Nursing Council of Zambia (GNCZ) wishes to thank all nurses and midwives that have taken the verification and update of the nurses and midwives registers sent to all the 10 provinces of Zambia, seriously. This exercise is very important since it will culminate into the publication of the final registers in the national news papers in accordance with the provisions of the Nurses and Midwives Act No. 31 of 1997.

The nurses and midwives that have no valid 2018 professional practicing licences will be left out from the publication and consequently be treated as not eligible to practice nursing and midwifery profession in Zambia.

Therefore, due to the continuing numbers of nurses and midwives that are still coming forward to renew their 2018 professional practicing licences and in the spirit of according every nurse and midwife an opportunity to verify their particulars in the circulated draft GNCZ registers, the Council (GNCZ) wishes to announce an extension of the renewal of the 2018 practicing licences and verification of the draft registers by all nurses and midwives from 10th August 2018 to 31st August 2018. Consequently, publication of the corrected final registers is scheduled to take place in the Daily Mail and Times of Zambia Newspapers on 19th and 20th September 2018, respectively.

This being the second extension, the Council wishes to emphasise that there shall be no further extension after 31st August 2018, and all those nurses and midwives who will be left out and consequently not allowed to practice nursing and midwifery profession in Zambia will have themselves to blame and not the Council.

In the same vein, it has been observed that the majority of the nurses and midwives who are complaining that their names are omitted from the circulated GNCZ draft registers, have their names actually appearing on the same draft registers.

Therefore, the Council would like to advise all nurse and midwifery practitioners searching for their names from the circulated GNCZ Registers to follow the following simple steps in order to successfully find their names:

STEP 1: Be patient when checking through the Register. Do not be anxious, emotional or panic. Instead be calm and patient.

STEP 2: Be sure to remember your full names and district as printed on your 2018 nursing and/or midwifery practicing licence, since those are the same names and district appearing on the Register kept by GNCZ.

STEP 3: Take note that the draft registers in circulation to all provinces is in excel, Therefore, be sure that you know how to access information from excel. If not too sure, kindly ask for assistance from any knowledgeable person within your reach.

STEP 4: Open the Register folder and identify the correct Register under which your names could be appearing. PLEASE NOTE THAT there are four different types of registers, namely; Full Register, Specialists Register, Provisional Register and Temporal Register.

a) FULL REGISTER: This register is for nursing and midwifery practitioners with certificates, post basic certificates (i.e. RM, OTN, etc) and advanced diplomas as well as Bachelors Degrees in Nursing (I.e. RN with BSc Nsg and BSc with licensure Examination Certificate);

b) SPECIALISTS REGISTER: This register is for nursing and midwifery practitioners with Post-graduate Degree (i.e. Masters and Doctorate Degree) in Nursing and/or any other approved Health related field.

c) PROVISIONAL REGISTER: This Register is for foreign trained nurses and midwives (i.e. both Zambians and None-Zambians) and in possession of Nursing and/or midwifery registration certificates or licences of competency to practice nursing and/or midwifery; from the country of original training. Furthermore, the register has foreign trained nurses and midwives who come to work in Zambia on government to government Agreement or contract.

d) TEMPORAL REGISTER: This register is for nurse and midwifery practitioners who have undergone a GNCZ approved nursing and/or midwifery training programme and have partially fulfilled GNCZ Registration requirements. An example are Enrolled Nurses and Pre-Service BSc Nsg Degree holders who are yet to pass the GNCZ licensure Examinations.

STEP 5: Identify the District column on the register. Note that districts are arranged in alphabetical order. Identify the district under which your name appears as written on your 2018 practicing licence. In an event where the district where you work from is different from the district written on your 2018 practicing licence, PLEASE check for the District that is written on your 2018 practicing licence and the District from where you are currently working from.

STEP 6: Once the correct district is located, now find the column for names and look for your Surname which could be written in alphabetical order. If your name is not appearing in alphabetical, order, then counter check the order in which your names are written on your 2018 practicing licence and your name will be found.

STEP 7: Those who have got no 2018 practicing licences, must first get their 2018 practicing licences from GNCZ before they could think of finding their names on the GNCZ draft registers circulated to all provinces.

STEP 8: If your name is found on the register and all other particulars and spellings are Correct, CONGRATULATIONS. If your name is not found on the draft register or particulars are wrongly spelt, then immediately inform GNCZ through an email (NOT WhatsApp). The email should be sent to and copied to

Thank you for your support and cooperation.

Issued by

Thom D. Yung’ana LLB, BBA(HRM), ROTN, RN.






Rheumatology nurses key to dispelling misinformation over off-label therapies

Although rheumatology providers carry the responsibility of obtaining informed consent for the use of off-label treatments, nurses should help educate patients, particularly the parents or guardians of juvenile patients, on the justification of off-label therapies, according to presenters at the Rheumatology Nurses Society Annual Conference.

“I’m going to use the FDA’s own words here: ‘Once the FDA approves a drug, health care providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use if they judge it is medically appropriate for the patient,’” Sandra J. Mintz, MSN, RN-BC, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, told attendees. “Safety plus efficacy equals appropriate off-label use – not experimental.”

According to Mintz and co-presenter Cathy Patty-Resk, MSN, RN-BC, PC, of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, patients and guardians will often mistake off-label treatments for experimental therapies, and accuse nurses and providers of “experimenting on” them or their children. Providers, pharmacist and nurses should all be prepared to answer such questions, they noted, including “What is this medication normally used for?” and “Will my health insurance cover this?”

Nurses in particular have a key role in educating patients and guardians, and in identifying the education barriers regarding off-label treatments, including primary language, anxiety and illiteracy, according to Mintz.

In addition, nurses can help patients and guardians review the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan, as well as reinforce the purpose and use of the medication. They can also discuss potential side effects, when those effects may occur and how they can be managed, Mintz said.

Rheumatology nurses should also encourage patients and families to maintain a journal containing their questions, as well as the responses they have received to those questions. They should also inform the family of the authorization process, as well as any co-pay assistance opportunities or restrictions that may exist.


According to Patty-Resk, there is evidence for the safe and effective off-label use of rituximab for systemic lupus erythematosus, pamidronate and sodium thiosulfate for calcinosis, pamidronate and infliximab for chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis, and tocilizumab for systemic scleroderma. Researching these treatments means reviewing scientific literature, understanding the specific disease pathway and the drug’s mechanism for action, and discussing therapies with colleagues, she said.

Patty-Resk added that, although health care providers and nurses are accountable for negligence, evidence-based off-label treatments are neither incorrect nor investigational.

“When we go off-label, we are going off-label primarily because the on-label drugs are either not effective or unavailable,” Patty-Resk said. “Part of the off-label use we are doing is helping with research. We have to formulate rationale for why we are going off-label and choosing what we are choosing. In addition, you need to conduct a risk-benefit analysis for this drug, collaborate as a team on decision-making, discuss the options with patients and families, secure insurance authorization, prepare the infusion staff and then hopefully, ultimately, report in case studies.” – by Jason Laday

Mintz SJ, Patty-Resk C. Off-label successful treatments and how it is done. Presented at: Rheumatology Nurses Society Annual Conference; Aug. 8-11, 2018; Fort Worth, Texas.

Disclosure: Mintz and Patty-Resk report no relevant financial disclosures.


Nurses Refuse to Attend to Woman in Labour, Gives Birth Under a Tree

A woman was compelled to give birth at an unhygienic area under a tree, as nurses and staffers of Phulbari Upazila Health Complex refused to admit her to the hospital on yesterday.

Abu Taher, a cycle-van driver of Bashpukur village of Parbatipur upazila in the district, said his wife, Rina Begum, 33, went into labour early yesterday.

Without delay, he boarded her onto his van and drove her to the health complex, around 9 kilometres away from his home.

They arrived there at around 5:30am. “I took my wife to the first floor of the health complex for admission”, said Abu Taher.

But, the nurses, identified as Rozina Akter and Afroza Begum, allegedly denied her admission.

The nurses not only “drove them away” but also told them to take her to a private clinic instead, giving no reason for why they refused to admit her. This reporter could not find the whereabouts of the nurses later.

When Abu Taher was resting his wife under a tree at the hospital compound while trying to find a solution, Rina’s labour pain increased.

“An elderly woman came forward to help and laid Rina down under the tree. Rina gave birth to our newborn baby on nothing but grass,” said Abu Taher.

After about an hour, due to locals complaining about the inhuman attitude towards the mother and child, the hospital authorities took them inside the health complex. They admitted her into the complex only after taking the admission fee.

“Is this the health service system?” asked Abu Taher, demanding justice for such cruel actions taken against his wife and newborn daughter.

Contacted, Dr Nurul Islam, family planning officer of the complex, said that he heard about the incident from others.

“Action will be taken against those who were involved in this inhuman incident,” he said.

Hosptial authorities “arranged treatment” for both the mother and the newborn, he added.

Nurses Can Lead the Way in Research

Texas — Nursing-led research can help change outcomes for patients, communities, and the healthcare system, as was shown by several posters presented at recent research meetings, reported Linda Grinnell-Merrick, NP, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.

“Research is an important part of what we do,” said Grinnell-Merrick during the Rheumatology Nurses Society annual meeting (RNS).

“An example of this was several years ago on the dialysis unit — we had been using Betadine for catheter cleansing, and you had to wait for it to dry, until a nurse from the ICU said she didn’t think that was very efficient. So they did a study using rubbing alcohol, where you only have to wait 10 seconds, and it changed everything we did, not only for the unit but for the whole hospital,” said Grinnell-Merrick, who is president of the RNS.

To provide examples of other nurse-led research, she reviewed posters that were presented at the most recent meetings of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

One ACR poster described a pilot program in which rheumatology clinic nurses helped educate newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Researchers from the University of Vermont explained that a successful treat-to-target approach in RA requires shared decision-making between patient and providers, but at the time of diagnosis, patients may not have sufficient knowledge or understanding of the disease to fully participate. So they developed a program that included a decision-making toolkit that was mailed to new patients, and a couple of weeks after the initial visit, they telephoned patients to offer disease education.

The program included 26 patients, most of whom were women and whose mean age was 54. The calls averaged 14.5 minutes, and patients reported that they overwhelmingly supported the call program. At the time of the report, 23 of the patients had been adherent to their follow-up visits.

“And in surveys, they also said they wanted to have more nurse telephone calls,” Grinnell-Merrick said.

A second ACR poster described the therapeutic protocols and adverse events among children receiving medications via infusions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham during the years 2012 to 2015.

It was a retrospective chart review that included 398 patients who had 7,585 infusions of medications including abatacept (Orencia), belimumab (Benlysta), cyclophosphamide, infliximab (Remicade), methylprednisolone, and rituximab (Rituxan) for diseases such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, dermatomyositis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The highest rate of adverse reactions was reported for rituximab (10%), which were mainly allergic, while the lowest rate was seen with infliximab (0.8%).

“The reactions they found were similar to what we seen in adult infusion centers — nausea, vomiting, cough, itching, some tightness in the throat,” Grinnell-Merrick noted.

The events were mostly mild and transient, and were managed by slowing the infusions and administering steroids, antihistamines, and analgesics.

“By looking at their adverse events, they were able to formulate better protocols for themselves, Grinnell-Merrick said.

One poster presented at EULAR looked at the role of the rheumatology specialist nurse in smoking detection and cessation among patients with chronic inflammatory disease in a hospital in Spain. Smoking is a predictor of poor response to treatment and poor prognosis overall.

The study included 22 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Smokers averaged 16 cigarettes per day, and mean duration of smoking was 27 years. One-quarter had high nicotine dependence.

“By talking to the patients and asking if there was anything they could do to help them quit smoking, the researchers found that almost all wanted to quit, and it didn’t really matter whether the nurses made a major effort to help,” Grinnell-Merrick said.”That can happen: you have a poster and then the conclusion may not be what you expected. This probably wasn’t the right intervention, but that’s okay,” she said.

A second poster at EULAR reported on a randomized trial in Hong Kong comparing the efficacy of nurse-led consultations and conventional rheumatologist-led care over a year among patients with stable RA.

Conventionally, RA patients are seen by rheumatologists every 3 to 6 months. However, the burden of RA disease has been increasing globally and programs in Western countries have shown that contributions by nurses can help alleviate this burden. To see if this also was the case in a Chinese setting, the researchers included 276 patients who were randomized to see a rheumatologist or a nurse every 3 to 4 months. The outcome was the percentage of patients who maintained low disease activity, or a Disease Activity Score in 28 joints of ≤3.2 at 12 months.

The percentages achieving this goal was 95.5% among patients seeing nurses and 90.5% of those seen by rheumatologists, with an adjusted treatment difference of 5% (95% CI 1.27-11.54), and noninferiority with a predefined margin of -10%.

“The nurses did just as well and even a little better,” Grinnell-Merrick commented.


5 Ways Nurses Can Improve Patient Mobility By Jennifer Thew RN

The benefits of mobility among hospitalized patients are well-known—decreased pressure ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and functional decline—to name a few.

“Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, falls in the hospital, falls that cause injury, DVTs, and pulmonary emboli are also caused by immobility,” says Maggie Hansen, RN, BSN, MHSc, senior vice president, chief nurse executive at Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Florida. “They have other factors that contribute to them, but [nursing] is taking ownership for preventing some of those things that should never happen to patients.”

Still, finding the time to ambulate patients during a busy shift is something nurses often struggle to do.

“We heard feedback [from nurses] like, ‘I really wish I had more time to ambulate my patients,'” says Leslie Pollart, RN, MSN, MBA, director of nursing at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.  “While they knew it was important, competing priorities often impeded their ability to ensure timely patient mobility, and sometimes patients need more than one person to assist them in getting out of bed.”

To address this issue and ensure patients were getting the ambulation they needed to achieve optimal outcomes, the hospital revamped its mobility program, including creation of a designated mobility team.


According to both Hansen and Pollart, the program has had numerous results.

Pollart says lower extremity DVTs in patients have decreased by over 30% since implementation of the program. They have also seen improved disposition to the right level of care.

“What we have found by having the more aggressive mobility program is we’re not having physical therapists bogged down with doing consults that aren’t medically necessary,” Pollart says. “Now they can focus their time on the cases they really need to see. What we’re seeing is a better disposition for the patients when they leave.”

Families are also more confident taking patients home from the hospital, and conflict at discharge has decreased, she says.

“When you talk about discharge planning with a family member and the only paradigm they see is [a] loved one is always in bed, they start to get anxious because they think, ‘How am I going to be able to care for him or her at home?’ ” So, we wanted to make sure that we changed that perspective so that when that family came in, they saw patients who were out of bed for meals [or walking],” she says.

Hospital employee injuries have also decreased.

“At the start of the program, our employee-related patient handling injuries were quite high,” Pollart says. “They averaged anywhere from on the low end to maybe 9 or 10 a month, and on the high end to maybe 25 to 30 a month.”

After going live with a mobility team and investing in patient handling equipment, the hospital reduced employee injuries by over 60%.

“When you look at that just from an employee standpoint, one employee injury is too much,” Hansen says, “but when you look at [the] financial standpoint—if you were only looking at the dollars—every workers’ compensation claim … averages $20,000 dollars. The investment in that equipment is easily justified by the fewer number of injuries.”

Finally, staff engagement and satisfaction has also increased.

Nonclinician mobility team members who help with the program are inspired to follow a career path in healthcare, Pollart says.

“I have a couple that are going to continue to go to school to be therapists. Another one really likes exercise physiology,” she says. “So, it’s really helped them shape their future career path.”

And hospital staff understands that the organization is committed to creating a safe work environment.

“The fact is that our hospital did recognize [the staff’s] priorities and gave them a team and invested in the equipment,” Pollart says. “Their perspective about senior leadership understanding the complexities of the work they do has significantly increased because of it. They feel like the organization is committed to their safety.”

“Our mission [for the mobility program] is this: prevention of hospital-acquired functional decline and other adverse outcomes to facilitate the earliest and the most independent setting,” Pollart says. “Our philosophy was if you walk into the hospital, we want you to walk out.”

Here’s are the five ways they’re achieving that.

1. Make Mobility an Interdisciplinary Project

It was not just the nurses who wanted to improve patient ambulation, other disciplines were on board as well to create a new mobility program.

“With the physical therapists, similarly, we heard they frequently get pulled from doing their clinical consultation because nursing needs an extra pair of hands to get somebody out of bed,” Pollart says. “Likewise, one of my surgeons said, ‘You know, Leslie, I write activity orders, but they’re often not carried out consistently, so it’s a mere suggestion, not an order.’ That was [a] frustration.”

The director of rehabilitation and the IT department became engaged in the project. The IT department helped to integrate newly created assessment tools into the electronic medical record.

Thus, began the creation of a six-person dedicated mobility team.

“Some mobility programs cross-trained patient care assistants,” Pollart says. “When I was evaluating that, I worried that someone who already had an established skill set would always feel like they had competing priorities.”

Many of the mobility team members were transporters at the hospital.

“We actually hired them for their attitude, their desire to learn a new skill, and their communication,” Pollart says.

The therapy department developed competencies to train the new team in safe patient handling.

“They had to go through a rigorous training with the therapy department,” she says. “It wasn’t just didactic, it was simulation. Then they went on to seeing patients paired with a therapist. The therapist then signed them off when they felt that [the team was] completely able to be independent.”

2. Designate Responsibility

One benefit of the mobility team is that it allows nurses and therapists to work at the top of their licenses.

“It allows the nurses to, for example, medicate a patient for pain in a timely manner rather than to get a patient out of bed. The person that doesn’t need a license to practice can [help ambulate patients] safely,” Hansen says.

To achieve this, it was important to clearly delineate each group’s responsibility with patient assists.

The mobility team is responsible for maximum assists, and nursing is responsible for independent or minimal assists. Therapists can be involved in a range of assists depending on the acuteness of the mobility issues and whether the patient needed a consultation for appropriate disposition, Pollart says.

“I think that’s what really went to the success of this program,” she says. “This wasn’t just adding a team and expecting them to solve all the problems with mobility, but defining those responsibilities according to each job role.”

3. Create an Assessment Tool

To clearly define the patient’s mobility needs, an assessment tool was created and integrated into the EMR. This allows nurses to delegate mobility responsibilities to the correct practitioner, such as nursing, physical therapy, or the mobility team.

“Based on how [a] patient scores on the tool, that patient’s mobility is assessed to be independent, minimal, moderate, or maximum assist,” Pollart says. “We wanted to target the mobility team and [the patients] that often required more man power to ambulate.”

The tool is used to assess patients on admission and then at least once per day during the duration of their hospital stay.

Four questions are asked in the assessment:

  1. Can the patient lift his or her legs often? If so, is it done independently or with assistance?
  2. Can the patient move from a lying to a sitting position independently or with assistance?
  3. Can he or she move from sitting to standing independently or with assistance?
  4. Can the patient take a step forward?

The tool prompts the practitioner to go to the next question depending on the response.

“Then the mobility team has a work list of all of those patients that score into the mobility team,” Pollart says. “We also populate the patient’s activity order.”

Additionally, the mobility team has daily huddles with physical therapists and nurse managers to discuss the patient assignments and their mobility needs.

4. Ensure You Have the Right Equipment

In addition to the mobility team and the assessment tool, the organization also invested about $2 million in safe patient-handling equipment such as lifts, as well as education on how to use the equipment.

The assessment tool used to determine a patient’s mobility status also tells nurses what the correct handling equipment is for that patient.

“Some of the patients just wouldn’t ambulate for fear of hurting the staff,” Pollart says. “Now the nurses can say, ‘You don’t have to worry because we have handling equipment that will help us help you get to a standing position.’ ”

5. Make Ambulation ‘Fun’

“Part of the program is to encourage patients, [and] to make ambulation kind of fun and something to look forward to,” Pollart says.

Upon admission, all family members are encouraged—unless it’s contrary to treatment—to bring in comfortable shoes for the patient. There are distance markers at certain points in the hospital so that the interdisciplinary team and the patients can track how far they’ve walked. Mobility journals are provided so patients can fill them out as they accomplish their mobility plans of care.

Patients are also encouraged to walk outside their rooms at least twice a day and to get out of bed for meals, which is known as “Heels for Meals,” because the patients have their heels on the floor while eating.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.


Healthcare personnel shortage: Task Shifting, Task Sharing policy to the rescue

For a long time now in Nigeria, maternal mortality, morbidity, childbirth complications and other negative healthcare indices have continued to soar higher as the country is being subjected to a natural haemorrhage of health professionals who tend to seek greener pastures abroad or ensconce themselves in the urban areas of the country. According to statistics, 20 doctors, nurses and midwives are to attend to 10,000 Nigerians.

Apparently disturbed by this phenomenon, the Federal Ministry of Health, in 2014, came up with a national policy called Task Shifting, Task Sharing (TSTS) to promote rational distribution or delegation of tasks from the highly qualified health workers to the junior ones who have been trained in order to widen up access to healthcare services across the nooks and crannies of the country.

The policy is also intended to provide a legal framework or backing to enable Community Healthcare Extension Workers (CHEWs) to provide quality maternal and new-born healthcare as well as family planning services, especially at the Primary Healthcare Centres in the country.

Other areas which this framework is expected to cover include, but not limited to, epidemic or communicable diseases like the HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and leprosy diseases.

According to a report obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN, within the four years in which the policy has existed, the country’s health ministry, in collaboration with its supporting partners under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFAH at Scale), have significantly dissipated energies towards the success of the policy. However, precious as the policy sounds, it, regrettably, met with resistance and other challenges across some states in the country.

The statistics show that, four years after, only 22 out of the 36 states of the country have adopted the policy and are currently at different levels of implementation. The rest neither are nonchalant nor unimpressed about the policy. With this, it is clear that some states are not committed to the policy.

Other challenges the document observed include funding challenges and a professional rivalry between doctors, nurses and CHEWS, with the former feeling threatened by an encroachment into his territorial grounds by the activities of the latter. For instance, a doctor would feel threatened if a trained CHEW attends to, or deliver pregnancies and so on.

To address these clogs in the policy’s wheel of progression, the policy, as it had roundly been observed, needed a review. To this end, PACFAH at Scale, in conjunction with the country’s health ministry, recently convened a stakeholders workshop in Abuja with all other implementing Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) view to brainstorming on the way forward.

In an interview with DAILY NIGERIAN during the event, Senior Technical Advisor to PACFaH@Scale  Project, Dr Emmanuel Abanida said that the workshop was a follow up to a successful stakeholders’ consultative meeting for the review of the TSTS policy held on June 4-8, 2018.

He disclosed that the main reasons for the workshop was to expand knowledge of the status of initiatives to monitor the state of implementation and revise the 2014 TS policy, increase awareness of the role of CSOs and Professional Associations as monitors within an accountability framework for effective TSTS implementation and strengthened linkages between service delivery and advocacy in TS implementation.

Mr Abanida added that participants are also expected to increase their awareness of the programs and activities of development partners working to implement TSTS policy at the national level as well as expand their knowledge of challenges and gaps in TS implementation at the state level.

“As we might all be aware, Nigeria is set to review the 2014 Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy (TSTS) in 2018. The Task shifting and task sharing policy in the health sector is a global recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) designed to ensure equitable distribution of quality essential health care services in Human Resources for Health (HRH) constrained regions of the World,” he added.

While elaborating on the concept of TSTS policy, Mr Abanida explained that the policy is a process of delegation, whereby tasks are moved from highly specialized to less specialized health workers.

According to him, when properly done, the policy can make more efficient and effective use of the human resources for Health sector currently available by reallocating tasks among front-line health care workers.

During their deliberation, the participating CSOs unanimously reaffirmed that in order to address the shortage and gap in human resource in the sector, Task Shifting/Sharing is the only option available. They further noted that women and children are dying daily due to lack of competent health practitioners around their localities. According to them, large percentages of qualified doctors in the country are concentrated in the urban cities while the rural populace is left at the mercy of a few nurses and unqualified CHEWs.

65% of Nigerians lack proper access to healthcare services.
70% rural populace have no access to healthcare services.
Nigeria needs about 237,000 Medical Doctors.
Nigeria currently has 35,000 doctors only.
Nigeria has as low as152,000  Nurses and midwives.
To this end, they recommended that there is a need for the CHEWs who have ‘volunteered’ to stay back to be adequately trained, supervised and mentored in order to do the job well. They also called on the government at all levels to take ownership of the policy and support it through adequate funding and sustainability.

However, some participants expressed their fears over the policy, thinking that the policy could create room for more quackery, indiscipline and malpractices in the health sector.

Earlier in his remark, the Director/Head of Reproductive Health Division at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Kayode Afolabi, tasked the stakeholders on coming up with a viable policy document in order to provide efficient health care services, especially in the hard-to-reach areas of the country.

He stressed that adequate training of frontline health workers is a major way of curbing health risks which some described as a weakness of the policy.

One of the participants, Halima Muqaddas, the Executive Director of Women, Children and Youths’ Health and Education Initiative, said the policy is grassroots-friendly and would go a long way in catering to the healthcare needs of the rural populace.

She said: “If you critically look at it, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria, like Bauchi State where I come from, eighty percent of the people live in rural areas and we know that the primary health care facilities in those rural areas are being manned by frontline healthcare workers like Community Healthcare Officers (CHOs) and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs).

“So, we this policy, communities at the grassroots will get the necessary healthcare services. For example, if a woman wants to go in for a normal delivery, she will have a health care provider that is trained and licensed to provide that service.

“However, once complications begin to set in, she will be referred appropriately to the next line of care. That is what is all about Task Shifting and Task Sharing.”

She added: “I know that a lot of professionals have reservations because they are protecting their territorial ground, but we cannot continue to deceive ourselves. In so many villages and rural areas, you don’t see a nurse, a doctor or even a midwife but if a CHEW is there, fine and good.

“When the individual is properly trained, he or she will be able to at least access whether the woman has risks of complications or a woman is going to have a normal delivery and advise her appropriately.”

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UK Nurse Who Had Her License Revoked for Talking to Patient About Jesus Win Case

A nurse in Great Britain who was dismissed from her nursing job for talking to patients about Jesus now has her full rights to practice nursing restored.

It all started two years ago after Sarah Kuteh was fired for alleged “gross misconduct” after her supervisor received complaints that she was talking to patients about her faith.

Kuteh says there was a pre-op assessment questionnaire she had to go over with patients and asking about their faith was part of it. She says from time-to-time this would lead her to conversations about faith with her patients. In one case, she even gave a patient her Bible.

She was surprised to learn about the initial complaints but once she did, she said she decided she would only share her faith in Jesus if a patient asked her about it.

However, the 15-year veteran nurse received additional complaints against her, was suspended and later fired.

“I was walked out of that hospital after all I had done during all my years as a nurse and I was told I couldn’t even speak to any of my colleagues,” she said in a Christian Concern interview.

“All I had done was to nurse and care for patients. How could it ever be harmful to tell someone about Jesus?” she asked.

The Christian Legal Centre represented Sarah in her appeal to be reinstated to full nursing rights and privileges.

Their chief executive, Andrea Williams, said if it weren’t for the pre-op question about faith, these conversations with patients would not have happened.

“Without proper investigation, she was fired and her long career as a nurse put under threat,” Williams said.

Kuteh was able to find work at a nursing home but was under certain restrictions imposed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and could work only under the supervision of a senior nurse.

When the NMC reviewed Sarah’s case and request to return to full rights as a nurse she had many character witnesses.

Christian Concern reports Sarah’s supervisor had lots of good things to say about her. She was described as “a kind, caring, honest, friendly nurse” and was also considered a “valuable member of the team. A co-worker told the NMC panel that she was “respectful” and “always acts professionally while on duty.”

At her hearing, Sarah said she should have given a Bible from the hospital chaplaincy to a patient instead of one of her own.

The panel eventually ruled: “It is in the public interest to return an otherwise experienced and competent nurse into practice.”
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Kathryn “Kay” Hodges: New Jersey Nurse Turns 99 in November, Has no Plan to Retire Soon

On the second Thursday of every month, the Emerson Senior Club gathers together for meetings, dance classes and other activities. They also usually get their blood pressure checked, and the nurse on call is 98 years old.

Kathryn “Kay” Hodges is reportedly the oldest active nurse practitioner in the state. She’s been certified for 77 years, and has worked in Emerson for more than five decades. She’s been practicing so long that she started seeing some of her senior citizen patients when they were babies.

“Their children or grandchildren [now] come,” said Hodges. “It’s a nice family connection.”

She works every Thursday, checking blood pressure and reading medications. Hodges also attends monthly county meetings, but her job responsibilities don’t tell the full story.

“Kay has never taken a sick day while working for the Borough of Emerson,” said Robert Hoffmann, Borough Administrator. “She’s like the post office motto: Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night can keep Kay from her appointed rounds.”

Hodges says her best days are when she finds something troubling while checking a patient’s blood pressure. She will then encourage them go to a doctor for a checkup.

Though she just stopped driving this past spring, she has no plans of slowing down.

“I’ll let the good Lord take care of that,” Hodges responds when asked about retirement. “I like what I am doing, and as long as I can do it and do what I’m supposed to, and they have no objections, I will stay.”

The beloved nurse turns 99 on Nov. 1.
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