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More babies, mothers dying due to brain drain: NMA

NMA has blamed the rising maternal and infant mortality in the country to brain drain in the health sector.

• October 25, 2022

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has blamed the increasing maternal and infant mortality in the country to brain drain in the health sector.

Ekiti NMA chairman Babatunde Rosiji states this in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, at a press conference marking the association’s ‘2022 Physicians’ Week’.

According to him, the menace of brain drain is gradually killing the nation’s health sector, noting that about 10,296 doctors now practise in the UK, making Nigeria the third highest foreign doctors in that country.

The NMA boss also raised the alarm over increasing maternal and infant mortality in Ekiti, blaming it on the geometric loss of doctors to other facilities and movements to foreign countries.

“Statistics by General Medical Council, which licenses and maintains official register of medical practitioners in UK showed that 200 Nigerian trained doctors were licensed between August 31,2022 to September 30,2022. The statistics also showed that about 1,307 doctors trained in Nigeria were licensed in UK as Nigeria continues to battle one of the worst situations of brain drain in history,” said Mr Rosiji. “In overall, 10,296 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in UK.”

Speaking about the rots in Ekiti health sector, the NMA leader explained that every secondary health centres and specialist hospitals in the state must have at least nine doctors, “but the highest we have is two per” hospital.

“We are supposed to have 276 doctors, but we have just 85. How do you expect us not to have high mortality? We need about 195 doctors to run the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, but we only have 95,” the medical doctor stressed. “Why should people blame doctors for the monster the government has created? For the primary, we need 32 but only have 12 and four of them will be retiring soon.”

Mr Rosiji expressed regret that four local governments in Ekiti have no doctors to oversee their primary healthcare centres, contributing to high diseases index.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patriotic in 2023 by voting for a candidate that would rescue the country from the current difficulties, rather than placing high premium on vote-buying and other pecuniary gains that could sway their positions wrongly.

“The era of blind loyalty was over. Let us all patiently wait to hear the plans of the presidential candidates for the health sector before pitching our political support for the one with the best health policy,” he urged.

The NMA boss urged the Ekiti government to implement hazard allowance to medical doctors on its payroll, regretting that Nigerian medical practitioners remain one of the poorly paid globally, and that the trend must change.

He said his members might go on strike, if the government failed to pay backlog of salaries owed members and implementing payment of other allowances due to them.

Mr Rosiji said NMA in many states branches had offered free medical treatments and despatched relief materials to victims of flooding in Bayelsa and other states.

As part of the activities marking the week, Mr Rosiji stated that the NMA would offer free healthcare services to the residents of Iyin and Ikogosi Ekiti as part of their corporate social responsibility. 


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