By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
A group known as CovidNigeriaMedics has called for stronger partnership between health workers at home and abroad.
The group which comprised of concerned and committed Nigerian Health workers at home and in the diaspora made the call recently during its 1st webinar with a theme ;COVID19; Transforming Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria.
The group engaged about 100 participants online during the over 90 minutes robust conversation.
The lead speaker, Dr. Jameel Ismail Ahmad, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon/Senior Lecturer with Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital & Bayero University Kano, while speaking on the topic: ‘From Brain drain/Brain gain Theory, to Brain Circulation Paradigm; Rethinking the future of Health Workforce in Nigeria,’ highlighted that the World Health Organisation had estimated a global shortage of health workers of more than 4 million and the Sub-Saharan Africa was found to have the highest rate of Physicians Brain drain with an average rate of 20% compared to 10% in other regions.
“Nigeria with a population of about 200 million has a Healthcare budget that is about 3.6% of Nigeria’s GDP with a weak Healthcare system and massive infrastructural gap as well as massive brain drain of its healthcare workers.
“The paper observed that only half of the 74,543 registered doctors are estimated to be in Nigeria, with some late and many internally or externally drained. Thus, based on the WHO estimates of Doctor: Patient ratio of 1:600, Nigeria requires more than 300,000 doctors and so there is doctor’s deficit of about 260,000 and requires producing 10,000 retainable doctors yearly for several years.”
He said “healthcare workers engage in brain drain to search for better standard of living and life quality, higher salaries, access to advanced technology and more stable political conditions in different places worldwide’’.
It was estimated that Nigeria lost about $2 billion in training of doctors who migrate to other countries.
CovidNigerianMedics Steering Group included: Dr Sadiya Gumi (Convener); Dr Ali Waziri; Dr Ona Utuama; Dr Emeka Kingsley Okafor; Dr Zainab Yombe; Dr Mukhtar Ahmad; Dr Hadiza Suleiman Gachi; Dr Olufemi Sanni; Dr Aminu Magashi Garba; Dr Shayma.