From Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
Increasing rate qualified medical practitioners are leaving Nigeria has become a source of worry to their colleagues that have refused to join the flight to greener pastures abroad.
They are worried that unqualified practitioners in other fields are now cashing in on the scarcity to conduct treatments in such specialised areas, as fertility and reproductive health.
An Aba-based paediatrician/gynaecologist and expert in fertility health, Okechukwu Kalu, said the situation was so bad that pharmacists may be forced to carry out jobs reserved for conventional specialist medical doctors.
He blamed the Federal Government for looking the other way while experts in every aspect of medical practice in the country leave daily, saying it was unfortunate that it doesn’t appear the authorities of the present administration understand how serious the situation had become.
“The brain drain is a big problem affecting every aspect of medical practice in Nigeria, as doctors leave daily.
“But unfortunately, the government of the day does not appear to understand how serious the situation is,” he said.
Kalu said the situation was a serious and dire one that Nigeria may soon be having pharmacists taking care of many sicknesses.
“It is very serious and dire situation, you will have pharmacists taking care of many sicknesses and taking place of doctors in Nigeria.
He further called for inclusion of fertility and reproductive health as beneficiary sickness in the country’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), in view of the high cost of treatment for people needing invitro-fertilisation, which is the scientific method of conception for those finding it difficult to get pregnant through conventional means.
The expert commended the efforts of the National President of Association of Fertility and Reproductive Health of Nigeria (AFRHN), Ibrahim Wada, whose leadership, he noted was working hard to stem out quackery in the profession, especially in the South East zone.