Impediments to realisation of Nigeria’s health goals, by don
The Dean, School of Clinical Medicine, Igbinedion University Okada (IUO), Prof. Dominic Osaghae, yesterday pointed out some challenges standing in the way of the Federal Government’s quest to birth a robust healthcare delivery system in Nigeria.
The don, who was speaking during the institution’s third professional induction/oath-taking of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) graduates with the topic, “Teamwork: The unique role of the nurse in the healthcare system” listed the impediments to include dearth of health personnel, shortage of human resources and brain drain.
He noted that the inadequate workforce would negatively affect the actualisation of government’s laudable programmes such as the Primary Health Care (PHC), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Midwives Service Scheme.
The medical expert regretted that health workers were mainly domiciled in the cities to the detriment of the rural areas, adding that the problem had been worsened by the emigration of doctors, nurses and midwives to other countries with better social amenities, working conditions, pay packages as well as job security and robust architecture.
Osaghae called on the three tiers of government and the relevant stakeholders to improve the working conditions in health institutions and provide physical infrastructure in both rural and urban areas to stem the brain drain and encourage health workers to render services in these remote regions.
“In this regard, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies Nigeria as being among the 57 countries with serious shortage of health workers, including doctors, nurses, and midwives.
Specifically, the WHO reports that Nigeria has a density of two health workers per 1000 population. In addition, there is inequality in the distribution (mal-distribution) of health workers in the country,” he added.
In his remarks, the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, described the role of nurses as vital in the entire system, urging the inductees to always uphold professionalism.
The administrator submitted that the institution had gained ground in the training of nurses, which he stressed, was germane to the growth of healthcare in the country.
While reiterating the commitment of the ivory tower to the continued churning out of outstanding professionals in the field, Ezemonye submitted that the science of nursing is premised on the development of knowledge to build the scientific basis for clinical practice, prevent diseases and disabilities as well as manage and eliminate symptoms and enhance end-of-life and palliative care.
“Training in nursing science prepares professionals to create a new scientist knowledge to guide nursing practice, access the healthcare environment, improve patient, family and community outcomes as well as influence health policy,” he stated.
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