From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Management of College of Nursing Sciences, Iyienu Mission Hospital (CONSIMH) Ogidi, Anambra State has decried the rate of ‘brain drain’ among Nigeria nurses, revealing that over 7000 nurses have relocated from the county in search of greener pastures.
The concerns were raised during the 42nd matriculation/capping ceremony of 152 students comprising of the 2021 set of students nurses and 2022 set of students midwives at College of Nursing Sciences, Iyienu Mission Hospital,Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State.
Presenting a paper titled, ‘brain drain amongst Nigerian nurses and its implications,’ the guest speaker, Dr. Chikaodili Ihediebube-Splendor, a senior lecturer, Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, said brain drain was a threat to the sustainability of the healthcare industry in Nigeria.
She described brain drain as the movement of relatively well educated persons/professionals from developing countries to developed countries, saying that in the healthcare sector, nurses inclusive, have been migrating in search of greener pastures.
“Constant migration of trained healthcare professionals erodes the healthcare delivery, leaving the healthcare of the citizens of the developing countries, Nigeria inclusive in jeopardy. Hence, getting adequate specialists care from trained healthcare personnel becomes a mirage.
“During the national nurse leaders’ summit held between September 27 and 30, at Lagos, the secretary general/registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Dr Faruk Abubakar, reported that over 7000 nurses have relocated from Nigeria in search of greener pastures.
“A newspaper of October 4 reported that there are only 35,000 doctors practicing in Nigeria out of 80,000 doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as at 2021.
“Within a space of 100 days- June 10 and September 20, it was reported that at least 353 Nigerian-trained doctors were registered with Britain’s General Medical Council as medical practitioners in the United Kingdom,” cited Dr Ihediebube-Splendor.
According to the provost, CONSIMH, Ogidi, Mrs Ngozi Nduka, the major cause of brain drain for healthcare workers, bankers and other professionals include unstable political and economic environment, understaffing, devaluation of naira, supremacy in healthcare sector.
“Poor working conditions, poor salaries coupled with the hyperinflation experienced in Nigeria. Today a dollar is equivalent to almost N1000 unlike in the 1970s when a dollar is equivalent to one naira or less. Then, nobody was thinking of leaving the country for greener pastures,” Mrs Nduka said.
Mrs Nduka advised Nigerian government to strengthen the economy to be at par with the economy of UK or America, urging authorities of both the private and public health facilities to increase the salaries of nurses up to international standards.
Mrs Nduka congratulated the 152 matriculating students and their parents/guardians for successfully pulling through the Preliminary Training Session (PTS) examination.
She enjoined the tutors, academic and non-academic staff, to continue giving the students unabated and steady coaching, monitoring and mentoring, saying that anything on the contrary may mean a disservice to the nursing profession.
“This College has maintained a lead in the results of the final professional qualifying examinations of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, making a 100 percent pass in the last results released in May,” said Mrs Nduka.
However, the provost, Iyienu Mission Hospital and the hospital administrator, Rev Canon Okwuchukwu Tochukwu and secretary, Nonso Anene eulogized the Anglican Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo and his wife Dr. Elsie for ensuring that Vision 2030 would be achieved in their health institutions.
“Our Lord Bishop’s Vision 2030 for education and healthcare services is that IMH will metamorphose into a teaching hospital and the schools or college therein which now offer Higher National Diploma programmes will become degree awarding programmes probably affiliated to University on the Niger.”
The chairman of the occasion, Mr Chukwuagozie Eze, advised their wards to be focused in their studies and shun any form of vices during their academic pursuit.
Some of the matriculating student nurses, Precious Eze, Stephanie Nwachukwu, Favor Evuka and Peace Agbo all pledged to be law abiding and were thankful to their parents/guardians for supporting their dream courses promising to study hard to make them proud by graduating in flying colours.