The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has paid tribute to nurses and midwives amidst the global health crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAS in a special tribute on the World Health Day dedicated to celebrate health workers across the globe in promoting healthier living habits and protecting well-being noted that this year’s theme “acknowledges the contribution of healthcare professionals, who have become frontline soldiers in this year of the pandemic; when the whole world is battling a health crisis, as we combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic”

The group in a statement signed by the NAS Steerer, Dr Avuwa Joseph Oteri lamented that Nigeria is facing shortage of nurses and midwives which even at a projected number of 333,494 by 2030 is inadequate for the nation to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

NAS which drew the attention of the Federal Government to the plight of nurses, midwives and other frontline health practitioners in the face of sundry socio-economic challenges confronting them advocated for a review of the remuneration and welfare of healthcare practitioners in Nigeria to bring it at par with international best practices standards.

The group while commending the Federal Government over its efforts to stop the outbreak of the coronavirus infection however called for aggressive testing to help halt the spread of the infection.

It furthermore called on the Federal Government to provide more palliatives to Nigerians so as to cushion the effect of the lockdown.

The statement read in part “As the world acknowledges the input of nurses and midwives today, it is pertinent to draw the attention of governments to their plight and that of other frontline health workers. Apart from their limited numbers, they are exposed to sundry socioeconomic challenges, which include but are not limited to health hazards, emotional insecurity, family crises, mental health challenges, poor remunerations, inadequate insurance cover, amongst others.

“Similarly, we urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to review the remuneration and welfare of healthcare practitioners in Nigeria and bring it at par with international best practices standards

“Finally, the National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity wish to commend the current efforts of the Federal Government to contain the spread of the Corona virus pandemic. The stay-at-home order is a step in the right direction but aggressive testing should be a complimentary activity to help pinpoint the exact nature of contagion and plan appropriate and adequate responses. The total lockdown order has adversely impacted economic activities, hence, livelihoods. Adequate palliative measures need to be emplaced to alleviate the harsh economic consequences of the lockdown. We commend state governments already doing this and enjoin the rest to do same.”

While we urge everyone to obey government’s stay-at-home order, we advocate strict adherence to the personal hygiene regimen prescribed by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”