BY RAYMOND OZOJI, Awka
Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo has concluded plans to employ 500 health care workers as veritable means to addressing issues of dearth of human resource for health in the State health sector.
Disclosing this during the grand finale of the 2023 Nursing Week in Anambra held in Awka, the State Capital, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ben Afam Obidike, said the State Government will employ about 300 nurses and other health practitioners which includes medical doctors, community health extension workers and a host of others, stating that the vacancies have already been advertised.
The Commissioner who stated that Governor Soludo is nurses friendly, noted that at inception of the present administration, about 138 nurses were employed and that plans have been concluded to employ another 300 nurses.
He said those retiring from active service were getting their pensions and gratuities, while those still in service were also getting their promotions and other benefits, adding that within just one year on the saddle, Soludo’s government is employing about 500 nurses.
Obidike was however of the opinion that while the cankerworm called “Japa” syndrome (brain drain) associated with nurses cannot be controlled or curtailed, he said there was need for training and retraining of more nurses to fill up spaces created due to the syndrome, retirements and other factors, even as he stressed that Anambra State has very good nursing schools, one of which he said is the School of Nursing Nkpor in Idemili-North Local Government Area of the State.
Although he disclosed that government is working assiduously on improving salaries and incentives for nurses, he said monetary benefits should not be the focus rather passion and dedication to duty should be uppermost in the mind of every nurse who sees the nursing profession as a vocation to serve humanity.
He was worried that healthcare professionals have deviated from the passion to save life first, instead pecuniary interests have done more harm than good to the medical profession.
He said Florence Nightingale who was the forerunner of modern nursing not only used her own money to establish a nursing school but was also selfless in providing nursing care during her time.
He said that such virtues of diligence and selflessness have become a mirage amongst the present day nurses.