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Resolving One Of The Needless Crises In Nigeria’s Health Sector: Case Of The Nurse And The Auxiliary

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Dr. Ogungbayi Olajuwon Ezekiel

The health sector in Nigeria is besieged by multifaceted crises of different dimensions. Some of these are needless and should be tackled promptly so that healthcare providers can walk in unison. It is when we work and walk together that the gargantuan issues can be overcome with relative ease.

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One of the needless crises is the that of the registered nurse locking horn with her auxiliary. History truly shows that before Nightingale, care-giving was already in existence. The fact that her advent ushered in standardization of nursing practice should reasonably not take the others out of existence in a situation where more hands are daily required on deck.

Regulation and refining of nursing practice should not end at the nursing schools and colleges.

However what is clear to onlookers is that the registered nurse, using her connections with the authorities in civil service, misinformed government and blackmailed, branded and tagged the auxiliary as “quack” to make her extermination out of existence easier.

Whereas it was the nonchallance of the major end users of auxiliaries that further worsened the situation. Whereas if doctors would still want to lay claim to being head of the medical team, it is our paramount responsibility to wade into the matter with leadership ingenuity and resolve the matter amicably.

Today, the end users– doctors, are paying a heavy price for that nonchalance. The undeniable and obvious truth is that Nigerias population is massive and the number of trained nurses available cannot even go round the state capitals of Nigeria talk less of serving the remote areas of the massive country.

The need for care givers of all categories outnumber the available supply.
To make matters worse, the trained hand will rather go out to London than to accept to practice in Ondo.

One wonders then why in the midst of insufficiency there should still be wastage. Yes, that is what happens when two elephants fight. Shockingly and surprisingly, the same trained nurses that chose to fight their auxiliaries into extinction are also involved in training traditional birth attendants and herbalists or native doctors using the apparatus of government. They refuse to see that as promotion of quackery.

There must be a lot to the issue more than what society is being told.
To label the auxiliary nurse quack is not enough accusation to hack him down because quackery, by definition ramifies all sectors and is practiced by all professionals.

One key thing we have known is that the registered nurse desires to monopolize the title “nurse” and does not want anyone else close to it.

Therefore if, and since it is principally about nomenclature, and a fight for title, the matter can be resolved once and for all in the interest of peace in the health sector so that progress can abide in the frail health sector. Any little effort to stabilize the failing system will go a long way and should not be underestimated.

The solution, in this writer’s opinion is simply to allow the nurse to hold onto her title and allow the other party be but with a befitting nomenclature and distinct title which does not strip her of her value.
The auxiliary nurse should drop the title AUXILIARY and accept the reality of what she is, what is undeniable and what no one can take from her. She is an assistant and partner in the healthcare industry. Therefore being a HEALTHCARE ASSISTANT should be okay for her.

She is honorably so and will continue to function as such. The society, the nurse and agencies of government should accept her for what she is and regulate her the same way the tradomedicals, the nurse, the doctor and others are regulated.



  1. It is hypocrisy of the highest order by the registered nurse.
    Most often the so-called auxiliary nurse has zeal and passion with dexterity to care for patients.
    Hence certification by experience is better than certification by theory..
    Let us be using Paramedic or HCA for them but in reality, they do better if they are being trained by Doctors.


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