COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 19TH NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE AND SCIENTIFIC UPDATE OF THE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES OF NURSING SCIENCE ASSOCIATION (UGONSA) HELD AT COMRADE CECILIA MUSA NURSES HOUSE, KADUNA, KADUNA STATE, BETWEEN 7TH AND 13TH JULY, 2019
Tag: PROPER PLACEMENT SUMMIT
Theme: TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND HUMAN RESOURCE IN NURSING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE IN NIGERIA: DYNAMICS AND NEXUS
UGONSA highly appreciates the National President of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji (the Father of the Event) and the leadership of NANNM in Kaduna State for their massive fatherly support. The association also immensely appreciates the Director of Nursing Services (DNS), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Nurse Franca Okafor (the Guest of Honour) – our able, astute and performing DNS, “a DNS like never before”, for her unquantifiable and non-repayable motherly support. UGONSA also appreciates the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (the Chief Guest of Honour) – our amiable, progressive and pragmatic Registrar for his immeasurable support and encouragement. Finally, the association is thankful to the keynote speaker, Dr. Emmanuel Ejembi Anyebe; the Government and good People of Kaduna State for providing a peaceful atmosphere for our 19th National Professional Conference and Scientific Update, and the Kaduna State Chapter of UGONSA for a well-organized hosting.
The Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony held on Monday 8th July. The participants donned the conference T-shirts for the opening ceremony and the flag-off of the event was done by the National President of NANNM, Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji (the Father of the Event), ably represented by the NANNM Chairman Kaduna State Chapter, Nurse Bartholomew Sati. The event was chaired by Chief (Hon). Solomon E.O. Egwuenu, UGONSA National President. Other Dignitaries that graced the event included Nurse Franca Okafor (the Guest of Honour) – the Director of Nursing Services (DNS), Federal Ministry of Health, well represented by Nurse Emem Umonya Etim, a staff of Nursing Division, FMOH; Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (the Chief Guest of Honour) – the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria ably represented by Nurse Mustapha Abdullahi Garba; Dr. Emmanuel E. Anyebe, the keynote presenter [a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin]; Nurse Christiana Bawa, the Secretary of NANNM Kaduna State; Dr. Elkanah C. Ndie, [the Head of Department of Nursing Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria]; Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani, [the Head of Department of Nursing Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto]; Dr. Ihudiebube-Splendor Chikaodili N., [a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Sciences University of Nigeria] among others. There were goodwill messages from the dignitaries.
Book of Abstracts of the 19th UGONSA Conference and a compendium of the proceedings of 17th and 18th Conference were the principal publications of the conference. Others were the main works of the presenters distributed to all the participants, and a blood transfusion documentation note, titled “Blood Transfusion Notes (UGONSA Model)” produced by the association. A press statement on the injustice being meted on nurses by the Nigerian government especially the under placement of graduate nurses and deliberate writing-off the great contributions of the late nurse heroine, Nurse Ejelonu Justina Obioma, in stamping out Ebola virus from Nigeria, was also published via reputable news media.
Those whose abstracts were accepted by the ‘Abstract Review Committee’ and listed for presentation and who met the set criteria for presentation were scheduled for presentation. The persons and their respective works included: Dr. Elkanah C. Ndie (Absence of Nursing Dynamics Nexus to NonTransformational Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria); Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani (Socialization and Social Relationships of People Living with Disorders of Sex Development and Sex Re-Assignment in Nigeria: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study); Dr. Ihudiebube-Splendor Chikaodili N. (Attitude and Perceived Barriers to Uptake of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine among Female Students in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution); Dr. Justin Agorye Ingwu (Assessment of Relationship Between Study Habit and Academic Performance of University Students in the Department of Nursing Sciences in the South East, Nigeria); Nurse Nshi Goodluck Ikechukwu (Electrocardiogram: Possible Implication of Changes the Nurse Should Know); Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver (Unmasking Nurses’ Entrepreneurial Potentials: Swot Analysis of Nigerian Nursing & Midwifery Act); Nurse Eteng Philip Okori (Safe and Care Effective Nursing Practice in Administration of Blood and Blood Products); Nurse Ilo Judith Ijeoma (Assessing Knowledge, Practice and Factors Influencing Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness among Couples in Rural Communities in Enugu State Nigeria); Nurse Ene Odaudu (Assessment of Preventive Practices on Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Acute Units of Kubwa General Hospital); Nurse Ndubuisi Lovelyn Sopuruchi (Electronic Information Resources for Transformational Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria); Nurse Ekuma-Ojim Cynthia Judith (Effective Human Resource Management: A Tool For Improved Productivity); Nurse Ubochi Nneka Edith (Nursing Entrepreneurship: A Panacea For Building Health Capacities in the Nigerian Health Care System, Validation of the Drive Process Model); and Nurse Ndubuisi Lawrence Ndubueze (BSS) (Ensuring Standardization in Nursing Practice).
Congress and Resolutions
The last day was dedicated to congress, where a number of issues affecting the health and well-being of Nigerians, growth, development and advancement of the nursing profession, and university graduates of nursing sciences, were deliberated upon with taking of positions, proffering of solutions and making of recommendations as presented below:
- The congress-in-session deplored the deteriorating security situation and increasing level of poverty in the country and urged President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors to do more in securing the lives and properties of the populace and alleviating the scorching poverty in the land. The congress however, commended the Buhari’s regime on its fight against corruption but urged that the fight be made more robust and inclusive irrespective of background or party affiliation.
- The Congress strongly frowned at the selective injustice being meted out on Nigerian Nurses by the Nigerian Government. It emphasized that it totally lacked comprehension on why the government singled out only the graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree for under placement to the tune of one grade level below their par and counterparts in other core healthcare professions such as Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, and so, despite that all have similar entry requirements and course duration for the first degree in the university. The congress noted that the unfortunate and provocative scenario thrives with graduate nurses being placed on CONHESS 07 during internship and on CONHESS 08 post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts in other core healthcare professions are placed on CONHESS 08 during internship and on CONHESS 09 Post-NYC, notwithstanding that the Federal Government verily gazetted the Industrial Arbitration Panel Award of the year 1981 which granted that in the healthcare system of Nigeria, the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy, as is the case in Great Britain. The association passionately appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the National Council on Establishments and other concerned authorities to urgently correct and rectify this anomaly in the spirit of equity and fairness.
- The congress noted with dismay the projection by Federal Government of Late Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh to ECOWAS for posthumous honor with the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence Award and her induction into the women hall of fame by the National Centre for Women Development for paying the supreme price while curbing Ebola without reciprocating similar gesture to Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu who was the first to pay the supreme price while working to curb the same disease as later did late Dr. Adadevoh. The Congress welcomed the honour bestowed on Dr. Adadevoh as “deserving and a step in the right direction” but pointed out that doing so to the exclusion of Nurse Ejelonu was a gross injustice to her memory, her family and the nursing profession. The congress bestowed the highest UGONSA honour of Grand Ambassador of Nightingalic Virtues (GANV) on Late Nurse Ejelonu, inducted her into the prestigious UGONSA hall of fame and declared her the “face” of the unrecognized great daily sacrifices nurses make to keep Nigerians alive and healthy. The Congress strongly called on the Federal Government to show that “it belongs to all” by extending the honour bestowed on Late Dr. Adadevoh to Late Nurse Ejelonu since both died in action saving Nigeria from Ebola. Other nurses honoured with the GANV award for their excellence services to the nursing profession in Nigeria and humanity in general include Mrs. Victoria Gowon (wife of former Head of State, Gen.Yakubu Gowon), Arch. Bishop A.O. Obarisagbon (the Pioneer President and Founder of GNAN, now known as UGONSA) and Mrs. A.O. Olanipekun (former Registrar, Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria).
- The Congress-in-Session frowned at the non-recognition of higher qualifications in nursing such as M.Sc and Ph.D Nursing in the schemes of service for the nursing officer and called on the government, the National Council on Establishment and appropriate authorities to recognize the importance of advanced education in nursing practice and thus commence remuneration of nurses that acquired additional higher qualifications in nursing accordingly by availing a befitting place for M.Sc and Ph.D in Nursing in the schemes of service for nursing officers.
- Congress superlatively commended the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno & the entire members of the Board of the NMCN for their progressive and visionary leadership that is fast improving the lot of the profession. The congress passed a resounding vote of confidence on them and urged them to keep up their burning zeal and commitment to positively repositioning the nursing profession in Nigeria.
- Congress lauded the NMCN for taking a step further beyond the existing registration and licensing of some nursing specialties [such as M.Sc programmes in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, and Community Health Nursing] at postgraduate levels, to announcing that all other post-Basic courses shall become licensable and registrable only at post-graduate level starting from the year 2023. Congress implored the council to keep up with this date and make it sacrosanct irrespective of opposition, pressure or challenge.
- The congress-in-Session observed that some unscrupulous elements around the country run a programme dubiously tagged “Dental Nursing”, which is at date not registrable and licensable by the NMCN and are gradually swaying the public into believing that their products, who do not have nursing license are nurses as some have surreptitiously found their ways into our public health institutions and are fraudulently and illegally posing as nurses. The congress recommended that the NMCN create a specialty programme in Dental Nursing regulated and licensable by the council, as the quacks that parade themselves as Dental Nurses seem to be succeeding because they cash-in on the lacuna created by the absence of a NMCN registrable and licensable Dental Nursing Specialty programme which the public critically needs. Congress remarked that the public will come to easily identify the impostors as quacks if we start having Dental Nurses licenced by the NMCN who can present and avail their nursing licence as proof that they are genuine dental nurses to prospective employers and members of the public, which the quacks that do not have NMCN issued licences cannot do.
- The congress strongly frowned at the continued subjugation of Nursing Services as a division in the department of Hospital Services under the headship of a Physician and verily called on the National Leadership of NANNM to mount a pitching pressure on the Federal government to implement, without further delay, the Yayale Ahmed presidential committee report on harmony in the health sector, which inter alia recommended a fully-fledged autonomous Department of Nursing Services in the Federal Ministry of Health. The Congress equally called for intensifying the campaign for upgrade of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to a “grade A” regulatory agency by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
- Congress advised nurses to key in to the spirit and letters of transformational leadership in nursing by using the same professional nursing care approach we use in caring for our patients to also care for other nurses and subordinates, as they, like our patients, are also humans that need to be cared for.
- The congress re-emphasized its earlier call on all stakeholders in the nursing profession to recognize the non-negotiable need for unity and come together to pursue a common goal to promote the professional growth, advancement and development of nurses and the nursing profession.
- Congress-in-Session noted with serious concern that the current established legal framework for Nursing education and practice in Nigeria (.i.e. the Establishment Act of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria) is now obsolete as it is riddled with myriad of flawed sections that fall short of contemporary complexities of nursing practice, current trends and international best practices. The Congress set-up a seven-man committee of reliable think tank to oversee review of the Act and preparation of a bill for parliamentary amendment of the Act, which the association shall transmit to the NMCN and the national leadership of NANNM for their input prior to transmission to the National Assembly. This committee was given a period of four months to execute their mandate.
- The Congress okayed the elaboration of organized lobbying in pursuing the proper placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree to be at par with the graduates of other healthcare disciplines.
- To effectively work the ropes of getting the Establishment Act of the NMCN amended and achieving the proper placement of the graduates of B.N.Sc degree, the Congress called for financial sacrifices from UGONSA members. Accordingly, the Congress sanctioned a mandatory levy of minimum of 10,000 NGN (ten thousand naira) on all UGONSA members to adequately and sufficiently finance the execution of the projects to their fullness. The Congress appointed a five-man committee of dependable nurses with proven integrity to co-ordinate the collection and management of the funds. Members are to make payment of the levy into UGONSA National FirstBank account, 3089525712, within six (6) months from the day of the Congress.
- Congress reiterated the need to restore payment of teaching allowance to Nurses and Midwives on CONHESS 07 and 08 and re-emphasized that Nurses and Midwives irrespective of grade and cadre are involved in the teaching of students on clinical posting, client advocacy and teaching including education of patients and their relatives and strongly called on all nursing stakeholders to prevail on the FMOH to restore the payment of teaching allowance to nurses in these grade levels.
- The congress equally frowned at the continued payment of token hazard allowance to Nurses/Midwives and demanded for its upward review that should be commensurate with the round-the-clock, daily exposure to clinical hazards, which nurses and midwives face.
- The congress strongly frowned at the skyrocketing rate of quackery and the impunity with which those indulging in it perpetuate it, with little or no confrontation. It recommended, inter alia, the forming of a well-funded, active and functional Joint Task Force between the State Nursing & Midwifery Committees on Quackery and State NANNM Chapters that shall gather data on addresses, locations and activities of all hospitals in their respective States, pay unscheduled visits at least once per month to each hospital in their respective States in the company of police and mobile Court for on-the-spot arrest, prosecution and conviction of quacks and hospitals that produce or patronize them. Members of the Task Force should be employed as Permanent Staff, or on the alternative, at least engaged in a two years renewable contract with a motivating monthly salary package and should comprise of Security Men/Guards under the supervision of an experienced Registered Nurse. The congress had reasoned that as this model has successfully helped Electricity Distribution Companies to effectively supervise and monitor all households that utilize their electrical services across all States of the federation, it can also help the Nursing Profession to effectively and successfully monitor how hospitals in different States utilize nursing services, if replicated and adopted in the fight against quackery in Nursing. The congress also recommended that individuals and hospitals that were discovered to be promoting and engaging in quackery be named, publicized and shamed in both social and conventional media to acquaint the public on the dangers of their malpractices and nefarious activities. NMCN was equally urged to produce professional seals for every nurse and collaborate with GSM providers to create an SMS code for on-the spot identification of all the nurses in any setting in Nigeria.
- The congress in session enjoined nurses and midwives to employ aggressive individualized campaigns on social media against the increasing menace of quackery that is exponentially denting the image of the profession and as well use such platforms to advocate and galvanize support for expedite implementation of the proper placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree and bestowing of deserving posthumous honours by the Federal Government on Late Nurse Ejelonu Justina Obioma, who sacrificed her life for Nigerians to be saved from Ebola attack, and as well for projecting a good public image of the nursing profession to make it more endearing to healthcare clients and the general public.
- The congress also reiterated the need for all schools of Nursing and Midwifery to be upgraded to or affiliated to degree awarding institutions and commencement of award of nursing degree in Nigerian Universities as a dual honours of Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery (BNMB) to make the basic entry point into practice of Nursing and Midwifery for all nurses and midwives in Nigeria to be at the baccalaureate level.
- Congress encouraged nurses to explore and maximize their entrepreneurial potentials to be able to: establish and own private healthcare facilities; enhance their economic status in order to attain financial independence; help the government reduce the rate of unemployment and brain drain of best hands in the Nigerian nursing community, contribute meaningfully to the economy of the nation; and become formidable and indispensable part of policy formulators/makers.
- Congress-in-Session restructured the architecture of the association by introduction of three zones along the regional lines of Nigeria at independence vis-à-vis Northern Zone, Eastern Zone and Western zone with the Presidents and Secretaries of the Zones being Deputy National Presidents and Assistant National Secretaries. Nurse Afoi B. Barry emerged the pioneer President of the Northern Zone with Nurse Mustapha Abdulahi Garba as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone; Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver emerged the pioneer President of the Eastern Zone with Nurse Eteng Philip Okori as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone; Nurse Ojo Idowu Opeyemi emerged the pioneer President of the Western Zone with Nurse Oloye Abiola Oluwafemi as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone.
- The congress appreciated the management of all the hospitals that have implemented internship training, and the extant placement post-NYSC, for the graduates of B.N.Sc degree as approved by the National Council on Establishment (NCE) in the year 2016 and urged those that are yet to implement it to urgently do so.
- Finally, the congress agreed and approved that the next (.i.e. 20th) UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update will hold in the 1st week of August, 2020 at Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Communique Drafting Committee Members
Nur. Agbo Gabriel E. Ebonyi State Chapter -Chairman
Nur. Benson Ekaette V. Akwa Ibom State Chapter -Secretary
Nur. Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver Enugu State Chapter -Member
Nur. Ajibola Aishat O. Ogun State Chapter -Member
Nur. Ribanre Moses Machoko Taraba State Chapter -Member
Nur. Eteng Philip O. Ebonyi State Chapter -Member
Nur.Bello Salamatu Kaduna State chapter -Member
CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU
NURSE G.I. NSHI