Senate Passes Nursing, Midwifery Act Amendment Bill

The Senate Tuesday passed a bill seeking to amend the Nursing and Midwifery Act.

Also passed is the National Maternal and Paternal Death Surveillance and Response Bill.

This is just as the Red Chamber also passed for second reading four bills including a bill spelling out the administration and management of the federal government-owned unity schools.

The two bills passed include “The Nursing and Midwifery (Registration etc) Act, CAP N143 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Senator Hassan Mohammed Gusau.

Also passed was the National Maternal and Paternal Death Surveillance and Response Bill, sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe.

The passage of both bills was sequel to the consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

The Chairman of the Committee, Oloriegbe, in his presentation, said the amendment of the principal Act was apt as it was a product of the Nursing Act of 1979, and the Midwives Act of 1966.

He recalled that the Act was amended in 1988, 1989 and 1992, making it obsolete especially with emerging developments in the health sector.

“Being the only legal, administrative, corporate and statutory body charged with specific functions to ensure the safe delivery and effective nursing and midwifery care to the public, it is necessary to have in place a legal framework mandating the Council to regulate the standards of practice of nursing and midwifery in Nigeria.

“Therefore, a review of such standards from time to time to meet the changing health needs of the society is what this bill sets out to achieve,” Oloriegbe said.

According to him, the bill seeks to, among others, remove obsolete provisions and empower the council to regulate the standards of nursing and midwifery in Nigeria by ensuring the existence of high quality of nursing and midwifery education in Nigeria, maintaining a high standard of professional nursing and midwifery practice and enforcing discipline within the profession.

In another presentation, Oloriegbe explained that the bill for an Act to provide for effective surveillance, review and prevention of maternal and perinatal deaths seeks to create a regulatory framework for a National Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance Response (MPDSR) under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health.

He stated that the bill when signed into law would empower the ministry to establish a committee to ensure a compulsory routine identification and mandatory reporting of all maternal and paternal deaths, as well as compulsory notification of every maternal and perinatal deaths through a scheme set up for the purpose.

Also on Tuesday, a bill to make provisions for the management and administration of federal government unity schools scaled second reading at the Red Chamber.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Enagi Bima (Niger South).

Also passed for second reading are three bills to establish the Federal College of Agriculture, Abua/Odual, Rivers State; the Federal College of Forestry Technology, Ofosu-Onisere, Ondo State; and the Nigerian Independent Warehouse Regulatory Agency.

The three bills were sponsored by Senators Betty Apiafi (Rivers West), Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central), and Suleiman Sadiq Umar (Kwara North) respectively.

The four bills after consideration were referred by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary, to the Committees on Education (Basic and Secondary); Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; Agriculture and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; and Trade and Investments and Industry.

The committees are expected to report back to plenary within four weeks.


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