Community Health Nurses have threatened to lay down their tools if government does not clarify change in their name to Nurse Assistants.

According to the aggrieved nurses, the move to change their designation by the Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) contravenes Article 191(b) of the 1992 Constitution and amounts to demotion.Addressing a news conference, President of the Community Health Nurses Association, Mrs Esther Bamfo said the association is giving the Nurses and Midwifery Council a 14- day ultimatum to reverse the re-designation.

She added if the decision is not reversed, “we will embark on a peaceful demonstration and if that is not heeded to, we will then lay down our tools and thereafter seek a court intervention”.

Mrs. Bamfo said a petition has been sent to the Minister of Health and NMC since May to reverse the decision but to no avail.“We have suffered discrimination and frustration for far too long and would not sit down for this demotion to be carried out,” she added, indicating that the NMC failed to engage the association before the re-designation.

She said through the independent efforts of Community Health Nurses in the country, healthcare have been made accessible to all and sundry and have also helped in reducing maternal mortality and infant mortality in various parts of the country.

She indicated that for decades Community Health Nurses have performed vast range of services such as immunisation, family planning activities, deliveries and some aspects of curative healthcare.Mrs Bamfo said if there is a change of designation to Nurse Assistant the roles must also change.