The Lagos State Ministry of Health has said it had arrested a fake nurse, Olufunke Adegbenro, employed by the state three months ago.
Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, the state’s ministry of health spokesperson, said in a statement Thursday that the fake nurse was caught during one of the audit and verification exercises carried out by the Health Service Commission in partnership with the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Muyiwa Eniayewun, said the verification exercise was to curb quackery and malpractice within the health sector.
“Adegbenro has been practicing with fake certificates and professional license. She forged a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho, a National Youth Service discharge certificate, a registered Nurse Certificate and practicing license of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
“Her appointment has been terminated and she has been handed over to the Nigeria Police Force for further investigation and prosecution. We hope this will serve as a deterrent to other quacks,” Mr Eniayewun said.
Mrs Adegbenro was employed by the Lagos State government during a recruitment exercise to cater for the shortage of manpower within the health sector.
Following her employment by the government, Mrs Adegbenro was deployed to Isolo General Hospital by the HSC where she discharged her duties before her arrest.
Mr Eniayewun said the verification exercise has been largely successful with reassuring results that will boost confidence in the public health sector.
“There is no hiding place for quacks and unqualified health workers in Lagos State, we are more determined now more than ever to fish and flush them out,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state has continued another phase of the recruitment exercise with successful candidates shortlisted to take a computer based test.
Mr Eniayewun, who addressed the shortlisted candidates on Thursday, said due diligence and investigation would be conducted on the application and credentials of all applicants at every stage of the exercise stressing that only qualified candidates would be employed.
“The health sector is a sensitive sector where we cater for lives, as such, we have no tolerance for quackery and malpractices where human lives are involved.
“Any candidates who applied for any of the advertised positions and hoping to get employed to the State public service with fake, forged or doctored credentials should rethink their decision and opt out now while they can or risk being caught and made to face the law.
“Even after this exercise, we will continue with our due diligence for shortlisted and employed candidates; this, we have been doing in collaboration with all the health professionals bodies and associations including through our regulatory agencies,” he said.
He warned that anyone caught with fake credentials risks arrest and possible jail term.
The official assured that the Health Service Commission will continue to ensure that only qualified human resources are employed and deployed to state-owned health facilities.