*Appeals to NASS to pass professionalization bill
Appointment of a Nigerian to head the ECOWAS regional office of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is a further affirmation that our nation has the intellectuals that are capable of upholding the tenets of diligent service to humanity especially through the profession.
This was the assertion of Alhaji Alhassan Bichi, the National President of the Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigeria (AMSWON) in their congratulatory message to Mr. Fela Bright, who was recently elevated to be the Project Officer in the African Region and representing the Western sub region, ECOWAS, in the African Region by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).
In his letter, Bichi wrote, “we do express our sincere joy and congratulations to you. We wish you a highly successful tenure and believe that this is the beginning of opportunities for Nigeria and Nigerians to be duly accorded its rightful place in the field of professional Social Work.
Bright, who hails from Lagos, is the current the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW), the umbrella body of social work practitioners in the country.
The Medical Social Workers used this opportunity to fervently appeal to the members of the National Assembly to work hard and pass the professionalisation of the Social Work Bill, before them without further delay.
“It will be a celebration of joy for Nigeria and the National Assembly itself, in the comity of World Social Work nations, if we can celebrate the next World Social Word Day on 21st March, 2017 with the fact that the Bill has been passed.
Bichi called on governments at the Federal, State and Local levels to involve more Medical Social Workers in the management of tertiary, secondary and primary health centers across the country, noting that it’s as an antidote to the array of psycho-social problems confronting many Nigerians.
Involving more medical social workers in hospitals will help to reduce the rising cases of psycho-social problems such as divorce, poverty, malnutrition, juvenile delinquency, rape, examination malpractices, cultism, violence and prostitution among others.
Most of these problems don’t require medication but professional advice of trained and certified Medical Social Workers.
Bichi pointed out that one of the requirements of an ideal hospital whether tertiary, secondary or primary is the availability of medical social workers, however, decried the shortage of these professionals who will be willing to provide psycho-social succour to patients.