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NAUTH medical committee laments exodus of doctors from Nigeria

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• Anambra sensitises teachers, students on COVID-19 preventive measures

Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, Anambra State, Dr. Joseph Ugboaja, has decried the mass exodus of doctors from Nigeria to other countries.

Ugboaja, who is also the Chairman of COVID-19 Task Force at NAUTH, stated this during a chat with newsmen at Nnewi, lamenting that the development was unfortunate and required urgent intervention. He expressed concern over the development and wondered how the country found itself in its present situation, adding that honest enquiries would reveal both the remote and immediate causes of the current state of affairs.

The CMAC boss, however, said that governments have a lot of roles to play in checking the ugly trend of exodus of not only doctors, but also healthcare workers abroad.

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“It is really an unfortunate thing because we don’t even have enough doctors in Nigeria. It also has a negative implication for healthcare delivery in the country.

“Government should pay more attention to health and commit more resources to healthcare development. The World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark of 15 per cent of national budget for health has never been met in Nigeria.

“Our health budget hovers around five per cent of the total budget, which cannot guarantee significant development in the sector. So, doctors are frustrated and want to leave for countries with better amenities and remuneration,” he stated.

Ugboaja, however, expressed hope that if the government improved funding for the health sector, the country might experience reduction in the rate at which doctors and medical practitioners flee the country.

Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure safety as schools resume in Anambra State, the ministries of health and basic education have sensitised teachers, students, and proprietors on COVID-19 preventive measures.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala stressed that the collaboration became necessary as a result of government’s directives that schools should observe the safety protocols.

Okpala and his Basic Education counterpart, Professor Kate Omenugha, spoke on the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) Radio, Facebook live streaming programme monitored in Awka.

They assured members of the public that personal protective equipment have been installed for reopening of schools, promising that students would not be affected by the pandemic.

Okpala explained that the innovations in the Basic Education Ministry were commendable, saying they were in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

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