DELTA STATE’S DR MORDI ONONYE PROPOSED LCN/LCM: THE QUESTIONS BEGGING FOR ANSWERS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC HEALTH SAFETY!
The people of Delta state and the general public should be aware that the said community nursing and midwifery programme is politically motivated to appease the gods of 2023 and the whores of corruption in our health sector.
If you don’t know this, just be patient as we hope the Delta Ministry of Health and its commissioner will empirically provide answers to the following (no doubt, they will use COVID-19 as an excuse not to go the archives and library of the ministry).
-The state has less than 2,000 Nurses on the government employment serving its 4,000,000 (four million) population with more than 68% in the rural areas. How can that meagre number curb our state raging health issues, still the workers are constantly giving their effortless services to the best of humanity. According to the commissioner, the unemployed Nurses and Midwives are now the cause of escalating maternal and child mortalities or the government? The public should be the judge on this subject matter.
-It may surprise the public to know that the state has less than 500 doctors covering the more than 50 cities and above 400 rural areas and settlements (excluding those in the Teaching Hospital). Many villages may not see a single doctor in two to three months. I guess it is the citizens’ fault or the government’s compassionate plans for them? The commissioner may prove us wrong in due time with his substantive facts.
-The state has about 8 medical related schools spread across the zones: School of Nursing, Agbor, Eku and Warri; School of Midwifery Sapele and Asaba; Delta State University, Abraka; School of Health Technology, Ofuoma (Government); School of Health Technology, Agbor (Private), Covenant University, Ogume. How best can the commissioner’s proposed LCN/LCM training outperform these leading schools with national and international reputations?
– The above listed schools produce more than 2,000 professional health workers annually but less than 20% may get placement both in the public and private sector thus leaving the rest 1,000+ roaming the streets including the eminently qualified Nurses and Midwives. What has the commissioner done since he assumed the middle seat of the rolling chair?
-The state proudly parades more than 3,000 trained Nurses/midwives that are indigenously located in Delta state but are yet to be absorbed by the government. How many adverts from your office, Dr Ononye Mordi, aside the annual internship vacancy have been released since becoming a Commissioner of Health?
-The same commissioner declared some months ago that “RURAL ALLOWANCES” for health workers should be abolished because there are no more villages in Delta state. Protracted stay in the city can make one forget the sense of “country home”. Can he tell us his political ward/village, how many health centres are there, how many Nurses, Doctors, CHEWs, JCHEWs, CHOs, Pharmacist, Lab Scientist? Same story I guess!
-The government/ministry has not deemed it fit to lift embargoes on health workers recruitment for almost a decade now. Thus, the retiring nurses/others have no replacement, and those that answer the call of God continue to create vacuum unfilled. How long can the existing workers bear the brunt of shortage of staff that the ministry of health consecutively ignored?
-The same RURAL DWELLERS deserve substandard health workers but during election they will need their “healthy votes” to relocate to Asaba and Abuja/Lagos while Dubai, London, Madrid, Germany, USA and others will serve as their choice centre for treatment. Who then is deceiving us? Rural dwellers have special immunity that can make them survive the doom of half-baked LCN/LCM political products. States and nations are fighting quackery headlong but a commissioner of health is using government dossiers to appropriate it. Only time shall their motives!.
-What impact will the proposed 200 per annum legitimate quacks have, compared to over 2000 annually produced professionals at the state level? Worst still, if the programme succeeds, their pioneers will enter the labour market by 2022. Is the commissioner planning for the unknown raining days (which excessive provisions and personnel has been made for) or seeking for platforms to impose his purported political agenda using the state’s institutions and infrastructure? Which law will sustain this move?
-Contempt of Familiarity: It is unfortunate to say the least that the commissioner of Health arrogated to himself absolute power and endless autonomy in a democratic state.
Another die-hard cabal in the ministry is one Gloria Igumbor who is the commandant general in the office of the DNS and Ministry of health. Her superiority power came from being the biological sister to the governor (Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa) who certainly will treat official abuse like family matter. Despite being a level 13 officer, she dictates like the Permanent Secretary with the endorsements of the commissioner.
These are the invisible cabals looking for another avenue to spill the blood of the vulnerable citizens on the abattoir of quackery using LCN/LCM footnote. Can we watch and allow this dastardly plot flourish? Will the Governor fold his hands and allow those he trusted to ruin the health of his citizens? Can they allow quacks to treat them when they are sick? Why the hate towards the rural dwellers and vulnerable proletariat in our society?
-Despite the odds being faced by the nurses working in the rural areas, countless number of them are more than eminently qualified professionally and educationally.
Majority of them are degree holders in their discipline, others have Masters in community health and safety. Those with Ph.D. holders did not run away because of their academic attainment despite having all the luxuries that our politicians in the city enjoy too! Where then is the fear and argument of the commissioner that most Nurses and Midwives do not want to work in the rural areas because of their education and quest for emigration due to family? Why the decoy to have your way honourable commissioner?
-Who will employ or pay them? The same system that placed embargoes on health workers recruitment for years or the system that is yet to pay thousands of promotion arrears or the one that can’t build one health centre round the over 250 political wards? Anyway, they will work for free! After all, our amiable commissioner does not receive salary or any special allowance since he joined Governor Okowa’s government. In fact, he fuels his official cars with his money and pays all the administrative and political aides from his pocket.
-Since they must be in the political wards where they came from, what happens to those wards without health centres? Export their products I guess or enroll them into the merchandise of unemployment institutions.
-Why did Delta State stop the MIDWIFERY MSS scheme that was proven to have eliminated maternal mortality in the country? No fund I guess but a costlier programme with no bearing is cooking up from the same ministry.
-While the role of the DNS is a story for another day, one would wonder who is leading or misleading the duo of the commissioner and DNS of the same ministry. Other directors exonerated themselves but the commissioner and DNS are hell-bent, why? What a union of convenience targeted towards the gains emanating from the schools under the DNS. The days ahead will indeed be more revealing, if God permits.
-The commissioner also lied that NMCN gave him approval to run the programme. According to the leadership of Council, the community programme was planned for the Northerners who are vulnerable on all health indices due to shortage of manpower emanating from insecurities, cultural and religious limitations that prevented its citizens from gaining quality and meaningful education.
Their schools have been bombed by terrorists, hospitals destroyed, roads ruined, villages shattered, houses roasted. Their woes are understandable and needs inevitable. Despite that, countless number of NGOs engage the services of best Nurses, Doctors, Pharmacists, Scientists, CHEWs, JCHEWs etc in meeting the health demands of these victimized regions, and their government is yet to incorporate such clandestine programme into their agenda as it is seen to be more deadly than Ebola virus on the long run.
Why was Delta state government the first to adopt it nationally despite having the best of practitioners that even render helping hands to the vulnerable region? Why is Dr. Mordi Ononye proposed substandard 200 LCN/LCM more important than the over 2,000 eminently qualified professionals that are ready to be mobilised on yearly basis? Is our situation following the path of the North geographically to have warranted the urgency in the training to the extent of excluding the stakeholders and our representative both at the State House of Assembly and National Assembly? Dr. Mordi Ononye, what is your hidden agenda? We cannot trade our life for cheap political popularity from you!.
The solution to RURAL DWELLERS Health Care is simple:
-Provide each political ward with functional health centres with residential quarters for the workers.
-Automatic absorption of all trained health workers from the state into the Ministry of Health and subsequent deployment to locations of utmost health need.
-Compulsory free health insurance scheme for all rural dwellers. They deserve the best of Nurses, Doctors, Porters, cleaners, Environmental officers because they are humans too.
– Pay the rural health workers commiserate paycheck as a measure to motivate them.
– Employ the readily available health workers to the rural dwellers health scheme (RHS).
– Members of the Delta State House of Assembly should investigate this shoddy deal now before it is too late.
Honorable Commissioner of Health Sir, face the reality on ground, and open the border of ministry of health recruitment into the local government areas in the overall interest of Deltans and the citizens that reside in the rural areas and settlements.
Deltans are waiting and watching your moves.
BY A GROUP OF PROGRESSIVE NURSES KNOWN AS NURSES4UPGRADE PROFESSION. THEY ARE CALLING ON THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH DELTA STATE TO TAKE THE PART OF HONOUR