Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Tuesday, decried the increasing exposure of health workers, especially nurses to the deadly coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. The union said: “As at last week, about 200,000 health workers are estimated to have been infected with COVID-19. Out of this number 260 nurses have died from the Covid-19 infection.” President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement on the World Nurse Day, said:

 

In Nigeria, the brutal backlash of the COVID-19 on health workers is very worrisome. “More than 300 health workers have been exposed and infected and some have paid the supreme price fighting the pandemic. This provides a lot of traction to the theme adopted by the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, in the celebration of this year’s Nurses Day— Nurses a Voice to Lead: Nursing the World to Health.

This depicts the role of nurses as the infantry soldiers of the health profession. Their forte is in the trenches of health wars like the COVID-19; always by the side of sick patients even when other healthcare workers would have retired to rest. “Our nurses always experience firsthand the strife for life, the surge of hope, the smiles of recovery and, at the worst curve, the stench of death. They are the voice that holds the night still.

Nursing is the voice deserving to lead. “While we pay homage in respect of the sacrifice of our nurses in the current war against COVID-19, we reiterate our earlier calls for the government and healthcare managers across our country and other climes world over to pay attention to the voice of silent sobs by our nurses, who go to war without adequate personal protective gear, conducive work environment and an impossible work schedule.

To our dear nurses, I have a simple and short prayer for you. May this year be the year your voices and that of other health workers are heard. May 2020 be the year the salaries you are owed are paid, the promotion you deserve is given to you and the necessary support you need to enable you to continue in your noble duty of saving lives is granted.

May this year be the year of your voice empowered and dignified. One thing is certain, posterity will never forget the contributions of our nurses and other healthcare workers globally in salvaging mankind from extinction in the course of one of the worst pandemics that have ever berthed on the shores of humanity.”

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