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Lawmaker blames brain-drain for foreign medical tourism


Senator Rilwan Akanbi

A lawmaker representing Oyo South senatorial district at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Rilwan Akanbi, has said brain drain is responsible for one billion dollar the country spends annually on medical tourism.

Senator Akanbi stated this on Friday, while speaking at the 2017 Alumni Day lecture of Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) Worldwide held at Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan.

The senator who was the chairman of the occasion maintained that the surge in medical tourism is a consequence of brain drain.

The federal parliamentarian who decried brain drain in the health sector described it as “a monumental threat”.


He identified reasons why doctors leave the country in search of a better life as poor remuneration, non-conductive working environment, inadequate opportunities for research and others.

As a panacea, Akanbi called for a conductive working environment for doctors.

He called on the Federal Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs to develop a database of Nigerian doctors working abroad.

Also in a lecture titled:”Nutrition and The Sustainable Development Goals, “the 2017 distinguished alumni guest lecturer, Mr. Larry Umunna, urged the Federal Government to include ‘nutrition target’ as a stand-alone target for measuring its commitments to the SDGs and other global targets.

Larry, who is the Country Director Technoserve Nigeria stressed that the efforts being made by governments, donors, private sector and civil society organisations are not enough, stressing that with a burgeoning population, the time to invest in nutrition as a nation is now.

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ICOMAARilwan Akanbi
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