Kaduna has replacement for fleeing doctors, medics, El-Rufai insists
FG lists hindrances to exclusive breast-feeding crusade
Governor Nasir el-Rufai has said his administration has a replacement for the over 60 per cent of doctors and medical personnel that have left Kaduna to other states and abroad in search of greener pastures.The medics had fled the North West state on account of alleged poor pay, welfare, overwork and lack of progression.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, at the Nigerian Medical Association’s (NMA) Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference over the weekend in Kaduna, the governor said: “We know people (medical practitioners are leaving Kaduna, but we have plans to replace them.” He went on: “We have students across the world studying medicine and they will soon come back and join the service. Very soon, we are going to get a plethora of people coming back into the system.
“One of the major reasons responsible for that is the thinking that there are better chances elsewhere.” El-Rufai pointed out that plans were in the offing to ensure return of the fleeing medics, as salary structures for all ministries and parastatals, especially health, are being revised. He maintained that his government was determined to change the narrative of the health sector in Kaduna.
The state NMA chairman, Dr. Stephen Kache, said brain drain remained a big challenge to healthcare delivery in the state.“On a general note however, across all health institutions in the state, the situation is similar to the national picture,” he stated. Kache therefore called on the government to consider the deliberations as handy for the advancement of the state’s health care system.
Besides, the Federal Ministry of Health has admitted that certain cultural practices and lack of support for parents at the workplace were impeding the successful prosecution of exclusive breastfeeding nationwide.Head of Nutrition and Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (SUN) Focal Point in the ministry, Dr. Chris Osa Isokpunwu, made the disclosure at an event organised by the ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Alive & Thrive; Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN); Action
Against Hunger and Nutrition International to herald the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week. He acknowledged that efforts were being made to raise awareness on several key initiatives regarding the advocacy in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Isokpunwu added that the campaign, holding tomorrow, would address maternity protection and promote exclusive breastfeeding.He disclosed that the event would witness the official launch of ‘Zero Water Exclusive Breastfeeding’ Public Presentation of Maternity Assessment Report, Public Presentation of CS-SUNN Breastfeeding Video and the unveiling of the Start Strong IYCF Brand.