Nurses Debunk Allegation of Disconnection of Gas Supply from Two-year-old Baby in Kaduna Hospital
By John Shiklam
The Kaduna State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has dismissed the allegation by the Kaduna State government that its members disconnected oxygen supply from a two-day-old baby during the warning strike which was suspended on Wednesday.
The state government, had on Tuesday in a statement by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, alleged that nurses at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, “disconnected oxygen from a two-day-old baby in an incubator on Monday,” when the nurses joined the warning strike called by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) protesting against the mass sacking of workers by the state government.
Adekeye had said the nurses who disconnected the oxygen from the baby will be prosecuted just as he announced the dismissal of all nurses below Grade Level 14.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the state Chairman of NANNM, Mr. Ishaku Yakubu, said the allegations were false and unfounded.
He said investigations by the union had revealed how the nurse on duty pleaded with the generator technician to allow power supply in the hospital as a patient was on oxygen.
According to Yakubu, “The nurse also made arrangements leading to the transfer of the same patient to a private hospital the following morning as the strike was to start midnight of May 15.”
According to the statement, “Contrary to the allegations and false statements, the nurse went the extra mile to ensure safety of the child and other patients as it is known of nurses.
“The investigation also reveals that the baby is alive and doing well in one of the private facilities in Kaduna town.
“Videos of the interview with the mother of the baby and of the private hospital is available and will be made available to the media.’’
The union condemned the allegations, saying that it will take decisive action against perpetrators of such malicious allegations.
Yakubu said the allegation was aimed at discrediting and tarnishing the image and reputation of the nurses and the nursing profession.
“This is rather unfortunate and we wish to call on everyone to disregard this malicious and unfounded allegation,’’ he said.
The statement said further that patients left the hospitals on their own volition and were not discharged by nurses when they noticed that the nurses had withdrawn their services.
According to Yakubu, no member of NANNM in the state had ever discharged patients during any union action.
He said: “NANNM is an affiliate of NLC and as such, the Kaduna State council is actively participating in the ongoing strike as directed by its national body.”
The statement also said the mass sack of nurses below Grade Level 14 was aimed at introducing divide and rule tactics to cause confusion among them.
“All nurses as well as other health professionals are part of this action; why single out nurses if not an attempt to polarise the unity that we have?
“It is also aimed at putting fear in the nurses to have them resume work knowing that we constitute the majority of the workforce in the health sector.
“This attempt will fail as we are together and not moved by these threats.
“As far as NANNM is concerned, no nurse has been sacked in Kaduna State as the rules of disengagement has not been followed which is part of the reasons for this industrial action,” he said.
Yakubu advised the state government to use its energy to secure the release of two nurses who have been in kidnappers’ den for the past 30 days rather than wasting it in fighting nurses.
According to him, the nurses were abducted at their duty post as government workers and the kidnappers are demanding a huge amount for their release.