The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM has ordered its members in the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH Isolation Centre, Plateau State to sit at home.
The Chairman of the JUTH chapter of the Association, Mrs. Mercy Lenka in a peaceful protest on Monday at JUTH said the order was given because their members were risking their lives working under harsh conditions in the center.
She stressed that there was no special room created for suspected cases at the hospital but only a screen demarcation with a clothing material for suspected cases at the casualty unit, which placed their members at risk of getting infected with the disease.
She said, “Particularly why we are taking this action is because, a patient was managed in the ward and it turned out that he became a suspected patient and the result turned out to be positive, all the people who nursed this patient were tested because of the exposure and then a nurse working at the centre have tested positive.
“We raised an eyebrow when we saw the temporary arrangement made by the hospital for suspected cases of just a cloth demarcation at the casualty unit.
“We also called attention of the infectious unit of the hospital, but they said the patients would not be kept for up to two hours there for their samples to be taken. It would interest you to know that a patient has been there since Friday, while a patient was brought last night presenting classical symptoms of COVID-19 of which his sample is yet to be taken, this is a risk to other patients at that unit and the nurses there who do not have Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs.”
She stated that nurses at the centre would only return to duty if they were provided with accommodation, incentives and hazard allowances.
She also said that failure to provide a special room for suspected cases awaiting results may result into a total strike of nurses in the hospital.
“Nurses at the centre must be tested before they resume as some may be positive and still going back to risk their families which is in irony of our advocacy against community transmission. Even if the federal government has not implemented the hazard provisions, the state task force should handle this matter,” she noted.
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