Home » Africa: Healthcare Crisis may ensue as Nigeria loses Over 75,000 Nurses in 5 Years, Citizens’ Solution Network Calls for Action

Africa: Healthcare Crisis may ensue as Nigeria loses Over 75,000 Nurses in 5 Years, Citizens’ Solution Network Calls for Action

by Atqnews
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Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest from wealthier nations such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, and Ireland in the resources of African countries.

This new trend has caught the attention of the Citizens’ Observatory, a research division of the Citizens’ Solution Network. This pro-people organization is dedicated to analyzing citizens’ data, advocating for their rights, and providing comprehensive suggestions to address national challenges.

According to the report publication by oasis reporters.com, Across the Mediterranean Sea, the international media such as the BBC, CNN, and many others are showcasing some desperate scenes where largely unskilled workers from mainly the Asian and African countries are doing everything at all costs to get into Europe on unsafe boats facilitated by illegal watercraft operators.

READ: News: Nigeria ranked third with the highest number of nurses and midwives in the UK, as over 1,670 of the 8,891 Nigerian trained nurses in UK were licenced in the last 6 months

That isn’t the total constellation of the pictures for on the flip side, Africa can be seen to be facing a new kind of threat beyond the determination of its young population wanting to leave the continent; and this threat comes in the form of highly skilled nurses, medical laboratory scientists, doctors, and other healthcare workers signing the registers of medical and paramedic councils in developed countries as they leave in droves almost every week or every month.

READ: News: International College of Surgeons, Nigerian Section says Nigeria lost ‘6,221 doctors lost to UK in 6 years’

According to the World Health Organization’s WHO health workforce support and safeguards list 2023, some 55 countries have significant health staffing shortages—by the numbers, that means fewer than the median of 49 health workers per 10,000 people—and 40 of them are in Africa. In other words, roughly 80% of Africa is experiencing medical staff shortages and high rates of healthcare professionals leaving to work in other countries.

It is noteworthy to state that just recently, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives said over 75,000 nurses and midwives left the country in five years to seek greener pastures outside the country.

Look at the figure again 75,000 nurses.

And this is coming at a time when the National President of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Dr Innocent Orji painfully revealed that Nigeria has lost about 2,800 resident doctors over a period of two years. What this means is more waiting time in hospitals due to understaffing when accessing healthcare, and more maternal death and infant mortality outcomes due to experienced hands leaving the country’s already understaffed medical workplace.

Even though the likes of Jim Campbell, the Director of Health Workforce in World Health Organization, made it known that, “the international migration of nurses from poorer African countries is a cause for concern, and we are hoping that the 10 to 15years healthcare workforce strategy that is about to be published by the British government which has taken up to 5years to develop, will eventually address the challenges this immigration creates in poor nations provided the building of local medical education capacity across UK is prioritized”.

Those of us at Citizens’ Solution Network know that, British effort alone won’t resolve the domestic threats the growing exit of medics and paramedics from Nigeria to elsewhere poses to Nigeria’s overall healthcare.

First to tackle this migration problem, part of the domestic strategy must include remuneration of health workers which needs to be increased, and working conditions should be improved to discourage more health workers from leaving.

Secondly, the attempt by the government to privatize tertiary education will further create shortage and discourage more Nigerians from accessing medical and paramedic education due to the astronomical cost such wrong policy will bring in terms of fee charges.

Hence, the government should wave aside such anti-productive policies, and focus on building more infrastructure in schools while working actively to reduce cost of accessing tertiary education for all.

By doing this, we can increase our domestic capacity and address the horrible problem mass migration of health workers is causing.

Just like the British government intends to do in that respect which involves commitment to funding medical education capacity to upset its dependency on international migration of medics and paramedics_ the Nigerian government needs to do the same to address the growing migration of medics and paramedics.

And we can take a lift from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lebanon, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Uruguay where education is free at all levels, including colleges and universities for citizens.

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