By Sola Ogundip, LAGOS

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, Lagos State chapter, has said more than 496 of 2,350 nurses in the employ of  Lagos State have left, with less than 15 per cent due to statutory retirement.

This is just as the nurses vowed to embark on a three-day warning strike from Monday, January 10, to press home demands for better working conditions from the Lagos State government. Read the full strike story HERE.

Chairman of the State chapter, Julius Awojide, made the points at an emergency Congress in Lagos on Friday.

He decried what he described as “government’s insensitivity to the plight of nurses in the State”.

Brain drain

According to Awojide, “More than 496 out of 2,350 nurses in the employ of  Lagos State Health Service Commission left between 2019 and 2021 and with less than 15 per cent due to statutory retirement.

“Over 200 nurses left the services of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital within the same period.

“Over 80 nurses left Primary Healthcare Board within the last two years, which has only about 700 nurses and midwives.”

Awojide noted that the state government’s replacement-on-exit policy had been rendered ineffective by the inability to easily find replacements, adding that nurses were critical assets.

“Out of the 500 vacancies approved for recruitment by the governor for the health service commission recently, less than 300 applied, especially in a country with a 33.2 per cent unemployment rate,’’ he said.

He said the mass exodus had adversely affected the quality of care leading to increase workload and functional flexibility requirement on nurses without compensation.

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