Mrs. Toyin Saraki has stressed on the need to efficiently train and successfully deploy nurses as a way of boosting healthcare in Nigeria. She is the Founder and President, Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).
She made this call at the Lagos Health Service 13th Annual Nurses Scientific Conference. Themed ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Invest in Nursing and Respect Rights to Secure Global Health’.
The conference, which was the highlight of the Lagos state edition of the 2022 Nurses Week, was organised to update nurses’ knowledge on current trends in nursing practice, present measures to overcome the current day challenges in healthcare delivery.
It also focused on contemporary issues worldwide affecting service delivery and proffer possible solutions and particularly, to bring the nursing profession to the fore, by strengthening the bond with other stakeholders in the health sectors within and outside Lagos, State.
Speaking on the importance of a motivated nursing workforce at the conference, Saraki, whose foundation donated to support the education and training objectives of the commission pointed out that nurses and midwives constitute majority of the global health workforce and the largest health care expenditure.
“Efficient production, successful deployment, and ongoing retention based on carefully constructed policies regarding the career opportunities of nurses, midwives, and other providers in healthcare systems are key to ensuring universal health coverage. The World Health Organisation estimates that an additional nine million nurses and midwives are needed if the world is to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.”
For First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, “nurses are resilient and dynamic, their efforts are duly recognized by Mr. Governor. Sadly, we need to go back to the drawing board to see why there is a high rate of brain drain in the sector. I commend the nursing practitioners and thank all nurses on behalf of the citizens of Lagos State”.
In a keynote address by Professor Florence Oluyemisi Adeyemo of the Faculty of Nursing Science, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, she highlighted that a key component of professional nursing practice and provision of high-quality patient care is the involvement of nurses in practice-based research.
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Since 2015, WBFA in partnership with its global partners and donors has ran core maternal infant and young child feeding and nutrition education training in over 370 health facilities in Lagos state through its Mamacare360 Community Midwifery Antenatal and Postnatal Education Programme, Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) up skilling for health workers, Medela Cares NICU-Specific Lactation Support, Nutritional International LO-ORS Zinc to Combat Diarrheal Disease in Sokoto and Kano states, as well as the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) programme.
Other Special Guests at the conference were HRM Oba Kabiru Sotobi, The Ayangburen of Ikorodu, alongside the Honorable Commissioner For Health represented by Permanent Secretary Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi HSC Commissioner IV, and Lagos State Health Service Commission Nurses led by Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Adebukola Cole.