The means to attain the health components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) received a boost at the 10th annual conference/scientific workshop of the Forum for Local Government Nurses and Midwives (FOLGONM), held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja, from 15 to 18 October 2019, as speakers stressed on the need to create an enablement environment at the Primary Healthcare Centres, which will enhance patients access to basic facilities, thereby decreasing morbidity and mortality rates.
In her welcome remarks, the Director of Nursing Services, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Mrs Olusola C. Ayeni, noted that while the key to ensuring quality of maternal and child care is a system’s perspective on the provision of care, the major factor in achieving this is the PHC system. Thus, she said there would be continuous misplaced priorities, inefficiencies and a moribund health sector in Nigeria, if only secondary and tertiary institutions are equipped to the neglect of PHC system.
She further stated that when the PHC works, the health system will be more effective and efficient, and this can only be done when nurses are placed appropriately in the scheme of things at the management level because they are pivot to any health service delivery.
For the Lagos State FOLGONM Chairman, Com. Mary M. Lateef-Yusuf, efforts and will are needed to install infrastructure that will support inclusive growth, enhance access to basic services and promote environmental sustainability of the SDGs.
Explaining the choice of the theme and sub-theme of the conference, which are:” Sustainable Development Goals: Nurses at the forefront of transforming lives today and tomorrow”, and “No health without mental health: Exploring tools for the true PHC integration”, respectively, she said each nation has to input sustainable infrastructure to achieve the 17 –point agenda, within the stipulated time frame.
She further stated the imperative of the subtheme, noting that it was necessary with the frequent rate of suicides in the country, as people who suffer from depression hardly get treated due to the stigma associated with psychiatric hospital. “The time has come to explore tools for true PHC integration in the management of mental illness”, she quipped.
While appreciating the state government for the approval of nurses’ uniform allowance, which has not been paid in the last fifteen years, Lateef –Yusuf craved the governors’ indulgence to the plight of retirees, who are yet to get their emoluments three years after their retirement, and the issue of the new minimum wage.
The keynote speaker, Mrs Modupe Shode, clinical instructor, Department of Nursing Science (LASUCOM) who spoke on the topic:” Sustainable Development Goals: Nurses at the forefront of transforming lives today and tomorrow”, noted that nurses have key roles to play for the health components of the SDGs to be actualised.
Thus, she challenged the nurses to put their professional knowledge into use by preventing child and maternal deaths, end extreme poverty, improve quality of life, end violence and oppression, in order have justice in the society.
“The SDGs presents us with an opportunity to apply the knowledge we have acquired as nurses to create a healthier and better world for the citizens of our nation. The realisation of these targets will improve the lives of people in our communities, our families and even our own health”, she said.
She further stressed that nurses have key roles to play in attaining the SDGs especially goal 3, which is related to health. In performing these roles, she admitted that there is need for a thoughtful and appropriate deployment and support for human resources and particularly to nursing, given the competencies and the extremely inadequate number of nurses throughout the world.
Going forward in advancing healthcare delivery system in the country, she charged the nurses to strive in order to make their voices heard and participate in actions that may assist in changing health policy for the benefits of patients.