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There is a shortage of nurses at government-owned hospitals across Ogun State, the head of nurses in the state has said. Ms. Roseline Solarin says the state has less than 200 nurses and midwives for 448 functional primary health centres in 20 local governments.

The Chairperson of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Ogun State, blamed the state for the situation. Solarin told 1newsNG that the shortage is due to the state not employing new workers as some left the service. 

“The last time that the Ogun State government employed midwives into those communities was in 2011,” Ms Solarin said. She pointed out that some of the health professionals had retired between 2011 to 2022. Others would have gotten employment elsewhere.

“So, as I am talking to you right now, the total number of nurses and midwives we have at the local government level is less than 200. In all the 20 local governments in Ogun State. And then, we have about 448 health facilities. Definitely, those ones cannot cover all.” 

The NANMM head also touched on the Midwives Service Scheme that has stopped in the state since 2015. She says the state government stopped providing funds that should have sustained the scheme. She noted that until 2015, the state government had a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the federal government to pay part of the fund. The local government was to provide accommodation and every other facility for each health centre.

“Since 2015, the Ogun State government has not been able to pay the midwives so all of them decided to go back because nobody will continue to work without money,” the paediatric nurse said, stressing that the primary health care centres are now suffering because of a shortage of manpower in the state. 

“If you don’t put the proper people there, they cannot do the work of the midwives,” she said. “The truth of the matter is: our people are suffering. Where they are supposed to see healthcare centres, there are none there. What can they do? And generally in the country today, we are having a shortage of manpower all over. A lot of people are leaving the country for greener pastures outside Nigeria.

While the shortage of manpower persists in Nigeria, she notes that Ogun State still has eight schools including colleges of nurses and universities that are training nurses.

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