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How to stem brain drain, medical tourism in Nigeria, by Academy of Medicine Specialties

By Jesutomi Akomolafe
05 August 2021   |   4:21 am
The Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria (AMSN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stem brain drain and medical tourism by creating enabling environment and encouraging medical practitioners ...

Secretary, Academy of Medical Specialties of Nigeria (AMSN), Prof Augustine Ohowovoriole (left); Representing the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adame and Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Toyin Ogundipe; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora; Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT), The Olor’ogun Dr. Sonny Kuku; Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; President of the Academy, Prof Oladapo Ashiru; Vice-Chairman BoT, Emeritus Prof Osato Giwa Osagie and the Representative of the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogonnaya Onu and Director General, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NMMDA), Dr. Samuel Oghene Etatuvie

•Honours Ehanire, Mamora, Adamu, Onu, Rabiu as Fellows

The Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria (AMSN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stem brain drain and medical tourism by creating enabling environment and encouraging medical practitioners with good welfare packages to ensure that medical experts provide highest form contribution to the health sector.

President AMSN, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, said that the academy discovered that Nigerian experts leaving the country are increasing and necessary steps should be taken to honour people who have made impact in the field of medicine.

Speaking on the role AMSN is playing to boost medical practice in the country, Ashiru, at the inauguration of AMSN, said that the academy is creating a different outlook with the way medicine is viewed in Nigeria and worldwide.

“The academy is beginning to think of doing research that would be funded to create vaccines with the current pandemic because if we have to depend from what is coming from abroad then we are not doing ourselves good. This academy has also began to celebrate Nigerians that have excelled in their profession and achieved honorific contribution in the field of medicine,” he said.

On how to reverse brain drain and medical tourism, Ashiru, who is also, the Medical Director of Medical Art Centre (MART) Maryland, Lagos, said: “The major solution to brain drain is to make the working conditions if doctors to be competitive as in other parts of the world. The truth is that the market for doctors is global. Even if it is close our doctors are patriotic enough to stay.

“As we speak, Nigerian doctors are leading in the provision of medical manpower globally. We have about 50,000 doctors in Nigeria and about 20,000 are practising in the United States. With such improved condition the strike would be over.

“The Academy of Medicine Specialties Rapid-Response initiative group has recommended more vaccine to be bought and vaccinate people. Meanwhile, mask wearing is essential.”

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Olorogun Dr. Sonny Kuku, while speaking on the inauguration of the academy, said Nigeria is losing best hands in the sector and over 20, 000 medical practitioners have left the country due to medical structures in the country. He added that the academy is bringing best hands in the industry to promote excellence in medical research, education and promote the application of research in the practice of medicine for the enhancement of human health and welfare.

He said: “The formation by the four founding fellows, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, Prof. Augustine Ohwovoriole, Emeritus Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie would be almost 12 years of putting this academy together. Those that would be inducted into this academy will be people who have gotten to the peak of their career and have made impact in their area of specialisation in medicine.”

According to Giwa-Osagie, Nigeria has the best number of medical practitioners who can advance the art and science of medicine and promote study in research into medical and related scientific problems.

Meanwhile, the academy has honoured five with Fellows for their contribution to the health of Nigerians and advancement of the profession.

The honorary Fellows include: Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora; Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu.