– As FOLGONM holds 10th annual conference/scientific workshop
To achieve the health components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Lagos State, it is imperative for nurses to scale up their practices with the application of eHealth, which will enhance effective healthcare delivery to patients at the grassroots, particularly those in under-served communities, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said.
Sanwo-Olu was the distinguished guest of honour at the 10th Annual Conference/ Scientific Workshop of the Lagos State Chapter of Forum for Local Government Nurses and Midwives (FOLGONM), held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja, from 15 to 18 October 2019.
The governor, who was represented by Mr Akeem Muri-Okunola, head of service, Lagos State, at the conference, commended the local government nurses for their efforts in manning several health centres without doctors, saying that the government was aware of all their commitments in caring for the populace.
He however implored them to take advantage of digital health by upgrading their knowledge on the use of technologically based tools to advance healthcare delivery in the state, which, he said would cause a decrease in morbidity and mortality rates.
He said: “Nurses must realise that they are pivotal to healthcare delivery in the state as well as the nation, and as such, they must always upgrade their skills and professional qualities like emotional intelligence, readiness to attend to patients, motivational skill, empathy and ability to adapt to a changing environment, to create a healthier nation.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Sustainable Development Goals: Nurses at the Forefront of Transforming Lives Today and Tomorrow”, the keynote speaker, Mrs Modupe Shode, clinical instructor, Department of Nursing Science , Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), noted that nurses have key roles to play for the health components of the SDGs to be actualised.
She challenged nurses to put their professional knowledge into use in preventing child and maternal deaths, end extreme poverty, improve quality of life, and end violence and oppression, in order to 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 three, which is related to health, adding however that in performing these roles, there is need for additional support to nurses, given their competencies and the extremely inadequate number of nurses throughout the world.
Going forward in advancing healthcare delivery system in the country, she charged nurses to strive to make their voices heard, as well as participating in actions that may assist in changing health policies for the benefits of patients.
Earlier on, the Lagos State FOLGONM Chairman, Com. Mary Lateef–Yusuf, in her welcome address appreciated all nurse delegates from the 57 Local Government Areas in the state, noting that FOLGONM is a pressure group under the parent body of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
Concerning the achievement of SDGs, she said efforts and will were needed to install infrastructure that would support inclusive growth, enhance access to basic services and promote environmental sustainability of the goals.
She further noted that the sub-theme of the conference: “No health without mental health: Exploring tools for the true PHC integration”, became imperative due to the increasing rate of suicide as a lot of people who suffer from depression rarely get treated because of the stigma associated with visiting a psychiatric hospital.
“The time has come to explore tools for true PHC integration in the management of mental illness. This will offer sufferers of mental illness the opportunity to receive the needed care without the shame of stigmatisation”, she stated.
Lateef–Yusuf, while appreciating the state government for the approval of nurses’ uniform allowance, which she said had not been paid in the last 15 years, pleaded with the governor to look into the plight of retirees, who she said were yet to get their emoluments three years after their retirement. She also urged him to consider implementing the newly approved minimum wage.