The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Bayelsa branch on Tuesday decried the high rate of quackery in the state and pledged to tackle the menace.
The association, while pointing out the adverse effect on public health, said that the ugly trend was giving nursing a bad name and sought the support of stakeholders in the health sector to stamp out quackery.
Mrs Sonia Andabai, the Chairman of NANNM, who spoke on the development in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa, said quackery was more prevalent in the private hospitals in the State.
Andabai appealed to medical practitioners running private clinics and other professional colleagues to desist from providing apprenticeships that would produce quack nurses.
She said anyone caught would not be spared “as the NANNM Bayelsa Council is on their trail’’.
She lamented that the ugly trend had claimed the lives of many patients, saying that “Bayelsa is one of the states where unauthorised apprenticeship for quack nurses in the private clinics is prevalent.’’
The NANNM chairman said that the Nursing and Midwifery Council was currently reviewing the law guiding nursing practice, adding that it was presently before the National Assembly to provide stiffer penalties for quacks in the nursing profession.
According to her, the draft amendment proposes imprisonment upon conviction without option of fine for quackery.
Andabai called on the state government, Federal Ministry of Health and the committee responsible for quackery to step up their surveillance roles to ensure that quackery was eliminated.
“I want to appeal to those running clinics to stop training quack nurses because soon we will come after them.
“You see in a clinic, you have only one or two qualified nurses and the rest are quacks because they cannot pay the qualified nurses.
“I want to also beg my fellow professional colleagues to desist from training quack nurses. Why is it that those who open the clinic protect their professions and do not train quacks of their own profession?
“If quackery is good for nurses, it should also be good for pharmacy and medicine.
“I am very bitter about the issue of quackery. It is very high in Bayelsa, I want to also say that Bayelsa is one of the states that are turning out the highest number of apprenticeship for quack nurses in the hospitals and clinics.
“They should please desist from it. And any other nurse that knows that she is responsible wherever she is should desist because if we get them they would be brought to book,” she warned.
Andabai called for improvement in the welfare of nurses, saying that certain cadres of nurses were not being paid their teaching allowances and appealed for the reinstatement of the teaching allowances for teaching nurses at every cadre.
She also appealed to the Head of Service of Bayelsa to implement the Call Duty Allowance of all nurses that was adjusted since 2014.
She said that Bayelsa was the only state amongst South-South that was yet to pay call duty allowance approved for nurses. (NAN)